Thursday, August 20, 2015

A visit from a huge male sperm whale

We have just returned from our morning round of tours and we are returning happy because we encountered a huge male sperm whale. It wasn't just a big one, he really was a huge fully grown bull. As well as his large body size we could clearly see his pronounced head that is typical of mature males. We arrived to the area where our lookout had seen him diving for a little over an hour, and after not much waiting we spotted a big blow. He came up for 11 minutes exactly before returning to the depths for the next deep dive, showing us his magnificent tail. We did not recognise this whale so after confirming we will add his tail to our catalogue as the latest addition. Although the sperm whale was the star of the tour we also had some lovely encounters with dolphins. We had our three resident dolphin species out there: bottlenose dolphins, Risso's dolphins and common dolphins.

In the afternoon we returned to sea to encounter the same male sperm whale. Again we were surprised by the huge size of this whale and comparing to our catamaran we could see that he was close to 18 m long! This big whale became curious and turned to pass close behind one of our boats, Song of Whales. The biologist aboard, Albert used this rare opportunity to go to the back of the boat and lower an underwater camera into the water. To our surprise what he captured on film was the sperm whale with its mouth wide open, jaw hanging down. To see the underwater video click HERE.

Our whale watchers in the afternoon also encountered common dolphins and in the late afternoon we had two swimming boats return to sea to encounter and swim with bottlenose dolphins and later common dolphins.

Photos from the morning:

Sperm whale at the surface, with Santa Maria island in the background

Notice the huge head of this male sperm whale

The final moment, going on a deep dive

Risso's dolphin making eye contact

Another Risso's dolphin

Photos from the afternoon:

Blowhole of the big male sperm whale

Sperm whale becoming curious and passing close behind one of our boats

Close encounter with the big male sperm whale - see the underwater video from the biologist HERE

Our catamaran returning to shore from another great tour

Bottlenose dolphins from our third swimming tour

Bottlenose dolphins

Common dolphins

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