Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wonderful autumn!

It is not summer time anymore in the Azores, but we are really happy with the sightings that we have had in autumn so far.

In the morning our lookout gave us the indications to find a friendly group of bottlenose dolphins. We found a group that we know very well…"bubblemaker's" group! It is always a pleasure to see them; they are usually calm and friendly towards the boat, allowing our clients to take beautiful pictures of them. These pictures are also really important for our research as we are doing photo identification.

After the dolphins, we headed further away from the coast (about 8 miles) to find a fin whale. The fin whale from today had the same behavior as the fin whales we encountered yesterday: coming to the surface just for one or two blows and going down, surfacing in a different place every time.It was difficult to see the whale but our clients could see the blow several times and even its dorsal fin.

In the afternoon we found a nice group of about 30 to 40 false killer whales. In the Azores false killer whales are sighted occasionally, this year we have seen them eight times so far.We are always really excited about seeing this species as they are not shy towards boats and are frequently seen riding bow waves. Today we had the opportunity to see these animals feeding on tuna. Like the orcas (also known as killer whales), false killer whales can feed on dolphins and whales, but they feed more commonly on large fish and squid. Our whale watching boat found a group of bottlenose dolphins and the swimming with dolphins boat also found common dolphins to end the afternoon tour.

Photos from the morning:

Fin whale seen directly from behind

Photos from the afternoon:

Clients aboard our catamaran watching the false killer whales

Baby false killer whale surfacing alongside its mother

Eye to eye with a false killer whale

False killer whale hunting tuna (you can see the yellow fin of the tuna and the pink meat in the water)

False killer whale with a piece of tuna meat in its mouth (the pink part on the right side of the photo)

Plenty of seabirds came to take pieces of the tuna the false killer whales were hunting

Bottlenose dolphin face

This bottlenose dolphin was very curious...

and acrobatic

A well-known member from the bottlenose dolphin group

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