Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Whales dominate

Today was another fantastic day out on the ocean and it was bright and warm and sunny. We have a very long list of species we encountered throughout the day. During both tour whales were the highlight of the tour, rather than dolphins. We did encounter dolphins during both the morning and afternoon (Atlantic spotted dolphins, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins) as well as pilot whales just in the morning, which is technically considered a dolphin species. We saw some very small baby dolphins in this pilot whale group and they were very curious so that we got to see them very well. Getting back to the whales, today we had a familiar sperm whale group off the east of São Miguel Island. We encountered a familiar whale with a white patch on its back who we call Peregrine. We have been following this whale since 2010 when it was a small calf and we have now noticed how large this whale has become. Another familiar whale that we always see together is Elsemiek, a large female that was named by one of our former clients. To complete our species list, among the different boats we encountered a leatherback turtle in the morning, loggerehead turtles and flying fish throughout the day, yellowfin tuna in the afternoon and plenty of seabirds including Cory's shearwaters, great shearwaters, manx shearwaters and a bulwer's petrel

Photos from the morning:

Pilot whales - see the tiny calf surfacing high

Pilot whale rolling on its side

Socialising pilot whales - you can see the head of one individual and the tail of another

Big male pilot whale

Watching 3 sperm whales at the surface

One of the three sperm whales diving

Photos from the afternoon:

The first sperm whale of the afternoon

Sperm whales at the surface - the one in the foreground with the white mark is Peregrine

Common dolphin

Watching common dolphins from our catamaran

Atlantic spotted dolphin

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