Thursday, March 10, 2016

Our first sei whale, fin whales and dolphins

Today we encountered two different whale species and two dolphin species. The first whale was a sei whale and it was our first encounter with this species this year. This encounter brings us up to 3 different baleen whale species already this year and we can definitely say that the baleen whale season is in full swing off São Miguel Island. Although it was difficult to see the body of this whale and almost impossible to see the blow, we did get to see its characteristic high pointy dorsal fin at the surface. It was exciting to confirm our first sei whale sighting of the year, even if we didn't see it that well. This moring also marked our 10th day in a row with fin whales. Further out from the sei whale we had an encounter with two adult fin whales. With these we got to see their bodies well and get a bit more of an understanding of the size of these great whales. The dolphins we encountered today were common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. We spotted some familiar individuals, especially the bottlenose dolphins which were from the group we call "Bubblemaker's group". Bubblemaker is a dolphin that we got to know not only from its distinct dorsal fin (the way we distinguish between individuals) but also from its peculiar bubble blowing behaviour before surfacing. It was a nice morning out on the ocean with familiar friends and the visiting baleen whales.

Photos from today:

Fin whale blowholes

Fin whale just to surface

Fin whale

Sei whale

Bottlenose dolphin

A bottlenose dolphin we call "Bubblemaker"

Song of Whales and a bottlenose dolphin

Common dolphin

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