Sunday, August 23, 2015

The year of the fin whales

This year has been an unusal year for some of our whale and dolphin sightings. One of these usual sightings is the presence of fin whales all throughout the summer. We see many fin whales and other baleen whales like blue whales, sei whales and humpback whales passing the Azores during the spring months, but not so often at other times of the year. Today was another one of those days that we had a fin whale encounter, during our morning tour. The whale was surfacing quickly, usually only breathing once upon each surfacing, but we al managed to see it well. One time it surfaced right next to our catamaran and a bit later next to our zodiac boat. In the morning we also encountered pilot whales, a species that we haven't seen for a while, and nearby some bottlenose dolphins. We also had common dolphins and some saw Atlantic spotted dolphins in the morning. In the afternoon the whale was gone but we encountered a large group of at least 400 Atlantic spotted dolphins and a smaller group of common dolphins. It was very nice to enjoy the company of these playful dolphins and see some of their high leaps.

Photos from the morning:

Pilot whale

Pilot whale mother with a calf

Bottlenose dolphins

Fin whale surfacing near our zodiac boat

Photos from the afternoon: 

Atlantic spotted dolphin subadult

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphins that don't have their spots yet

A playful Atlantic spotted dolphin

An ocean full of dolphins

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