Tuesday, August 18, 2015

9 whale and dolphin species in one day!

Today we made a new record - we encountered 9 different whale and dolphin species throughout the day. 7 different species in the morning and 6 in the afternoon (some from the afternoon were re-encounters to make a total of 9 different species during the day. We also encountered 7 sicklefin devil rays in the afternoon - what an amazing day!

Here's the list for the morning: a fin whale, Blainville's beaked whales, northern bottlenose whales (a quick encounter for our full day clients), striped dolphins, Risso's dolphins, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins (our swimming clients were with the bottlenose dolphins). 

And the list for the afternoon: sperm whales (including a big male), Blainville's beaked whales, Risso's dolphins, common dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins (once again the swimmers were with the bottlenose dolphins). Not to forget in the afternoon our whale watching clients also encountered the 7 sicklefin devil rays. 

This is the best kind of day that you can have out on the ocean and it's a nice reminder of why the Azores is one of the top 5 destinations for whale and dolphin watching all throughout the year. 27 different whale and dolphin species have been registered in these waters, that's about a third of the World's species! 

Photos from the morning:

Fin whale

Fin whale blow

Blainville's beaked whale - notice the beak and behind the prominent arched jaws of this mature male

Blainville's beaked whale

Striped dolphins in their typical way of travelling

Striped dolphins racing with Cory's shearwaters flying overhead

Watching the striped dolphins from our catamaran

Juvenile tern flying alongside us

One of our whale watching boats

Photos from the afternoon:

Approaching a sperm whale

Large male sperm whale with a very prominent head (this is typical of the males)

Male sperm whale diving

Risso's dolphins

Risso's dolphins going on a dive

Blainville's beaked whale

Atlantic spotted dolphin bowriding in the crystal clear Azorean waters

Atlantic spotted dolphins

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