Thursday, July 28, 2016

6 whale and dolphin species

Today's list of species we encountered is long. In total we encountered 6 different whale and dolphin species throughout the day. In the morning we all started with our friendly common dolphins close to shore, and a bit further out the playful Atlantic spotted dolphins. Out of Ponta Delgada we also had sperm whales to see, two adult females that our lookout had spotted from land. While our catamaran was travelling out to the area of these whales the crew onboard spotted some pilot whales, which turned out to be a nice group of at least 30 individuals, including females with calves. The two sperm whales turned out to be individuals we recognise from the unique marks they have on their tails, numbers 154 and 206 in our sperm whale catalogue. From one boat two giant oceanic manta rays were also encountered at the surface. 

In the afternoon our small boat set out first to encounter a baleen whale close to shore. It was a sei whale, the third largest animal in the world. The catamaran joined the small boat a bit later but there was no sign of the whale anymore. So the catamaran set offshore again to try to find the sperm whales from the morning. It took a lot of searching, but our patience paid off as again a crew member was the first to spot a sperm whale. After we found the first one more kept appearing one after another until we saw 6 sperm whales in total. The last sperm whale was one from the morning, number 206 in our catalogue. All our boats also encountered common dolphins in the afternoon and our swimming clients were with bottlenose dolphins.

Photos from the morning: 

Breaching sperm whale, photo captured by one of our clients

Two sperm whale side by side

 Sperm whale tail (number 154 in our catalogue)

  Sperm whale tail (number 206 in our catalogue)

Pilot whales

Pilot whales (adult female with a juvenile)

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Giant oceanic manta ray

Photos from the afternoon:

Sperm whale diving

Sperm whale outside of Ponta Delgada

Sperm whale watching aboard our catamaran

The last tail of the day, number 206 in our catalogue (also seen in the morning)

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