Monday, June 26, 2017

The day of Mr Liable

Today was the day of Mr Liable! We saw this animal both in the morning and in the afternoon. We could see its tail out the water so we had the perfect pictures to confirm the identity of the animal. Mr Liable is an adult male sperm whale, the lifespan for the sperm whales is at least 60-70 years, we don’t know how old Mr Liable is but we know that is already an adult because of its size. Male sperm whales reach the sexual maturity at the age of 18 more or less, when they are about 11 to 12 meters long, the estimated length of Mr Liable is 17 meters so this animal is a full-grown sperm whale.

In the morning, our clients for the full day tour went to the East and they were lucky enough to see fin whales… a migratory species that is still around!

The common dolphins were spotted one more day. We found a nice group with many babies as the one you can see in the picture below!

Photos from today:

Common dolphins (mother and baby)

Pictures from Mr Liable (morning and afternoon)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Red group, Fin whales and Max's group

Today we travelled a little bit further to encounter the animals, the visibility was good and they were quite calm, offering us very good encounters. In the first tour of the day we saw two fin whales traveling together, one was quite big and the other one was much smaller, seemed like a mother with it’s calf and three sperm whales that showed us the tail.

Because of that we were able to identify them by photo ID: Pm 109, Pm 253 (Diamond) and Pm 211 (Roberta), this whales have names because they belong to a family we already know, the one we call the red group

In the afternoon we spotted once more fin whales, seemed they were the same as the ones we saw in the morning, they were heading northwest all the time and making perfect dives of 10 minutes, easy job to see them today! We also spotted pod of bottlenose dolphins, a very well known pod too, the Max’s pod.

As you can see our resident species are like neighbours for us, when possible, we know them.

Here some photos of the day:

-Sperm whales:

- The bottlenos dolphins:

 -And the fin whales:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What an incredible summer day!

Summer has finally arrived and these days have been the perfect example: sun shining and calm sea! 

The baleen whales are still passing by, today we saw them both in the morning and in the afternoon. 
The species of baleen whale that we saw today was fin whale, the second largest animal in the world. They were with feeding behavior, but between the feeding dives, we could see them really calm surfacing several times close to our boats.

The resident sperm whales were spotted one more day. In the morning tour, we could see two of them surfacing for a while before going for a deep dive. In the afternoon tour, we had another encounter with a male sperm whale, Mr Liable. We arrived to the area of Mr Liable when it was about to dive so could see just the tail from the distance (totally worth it)!

The common dolphins were not far away from Ponta Delgada today but they were really spread out in the area… We could see small groups bow riding in front of our boats. The clients from the swimming with the dolphins tour in the afternoon were lucky enough to swim with a nice group of bottlenose dolphins!

Photos from today:

Sperm whale next to our zodiac boat

 Fin whale surfacing

 The dorsal fin from the fin whale

Sperm whale going for a deep dive

Fin whale from the afternoon tour

Friday, June 23, 2017

Resident, seasonal and migratory species today!!

Another day of sun and species of all seasons. In the morning we spot two giant fin whales and our friendly Mr Liable, a large sperm whale that has a special blow... totally different from all others sperm whales. In the distance we could see an area full of Cory's shearwaters that seemed to be feeding. We approach and we found two different species of dolphins... Atlantic spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins.
In the afternoon tour we could see Mr Liable again. We tried to see a fin whale that it was in the area but the animal was with feeding behavior so it was really complicated to see it. We tried our best but nature can be difficult sometimes.

Photos from today:

Fin Whale

Mr. Liable

Fin Whale

Mr. Liable's tail

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
 Mr Liable in the afternoon

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer is here!!!

It was the first day that we really felt the summer heat… and it seems that the animals felt the same. In the morning we had the best of both worlds...two species of dolphins and two species of whales. We started the day with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and we saw two Sperm Whales who showed us their tails. After the tails we moved to another area to see something bigger... Two Fin Whales!! On the way back, really close to the marina entrance, we found one group of Bottlenose Dolphins that belongs to our friend “Max”. In the afternoon trip we saw very well a Fin Whale and, in a really close area, we saw a spread group of Sperm Whales. We added one more species to the menu as we returned... Common Dolphins with a lot of babies. We hope summer will continue like this ;)

Fin Whale

Bottlenose Dolphins

Sperm Whale

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Sperm Whales

Sei Whales

Baby Common Dolphin

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First day of summer with six different species!

The first day of summer the four resident species were spotted. In the morning we found several sperm whales,  also small ones! Some of them were resting, while others showed the tail to go for a deep dive. We enjoyed as well with two fin whales, one bigger than the other, who stayed around our boats calmly. A nice group of common dolphins was found during our way back to Ponta Delgada, and of course, with lots of babies! One of our boats was lucky enough to see Risso´s dolphin too, and other boat Atlantic spotted dolphin as well.
In the afternoon, we started our trip with sperm whales, very shy and small ones, and then we moved to a bigger one, which we think it could be our well know Mr. Liable, even we couldn´t confirm it because we didn't see the tail, just shallow dives all the time. We saw again common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins, and even a loggerhead turtle!

Today we were pleased to receive a very nice gift made with plastic lids from a local school from Arrifes (Ponta Delgada, Açores). Thank you!

Photos from today:

Common dolphins 
Male sperm whale

The two fin whales of this morning (the left one is the smaller)

One of the fin whales

One of the bottlenose dolphin of this afternoon

Gift from a local school from Arrifes (Ponta Delgada)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Human Whatching

The Sperm Whales and the Common Dolphins were the stars today. In the morning trip it was a bit windier but we foud quickly our giant... MR. LIABLE!! As always, he showed his tail when he started his dive. We still managed to witness the breakfast of a large group of Common Dolphins and we also saw many babies. In the afternoon, to be possible to see Sperm Whales again, we had to travel a bit more... we went out of Ribeira Quente. We where then sighted by a group of Sperm Whales.. it’s not a mistake...They’re the ones watching us while doing “spy hopping”. On the way back to Ponta Delgada we found a really spread group of Common Dolphins and still a beautiful group of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins... What a wonderful Day!

 Mr. Liable!!

Baby Common Dolphin

Sperm Whale Blowhole

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mr Liable is back!

This morning we went out to enjoy a beautiful day with flat sea and the sun shining. We started the tour with a family of sperm whales, we saw about 5 of them in the area. One the sperm whales that we saw today is really well know for us: Mr Liable! The last time we saw this animal was last year, in November. We are really happy to have it back! Mr Liable is a big male sperm whale (at least 17 meters long) that we have seen around the Azores for many years. The first picture that we have from Mr Liable is from 2004, but it has been visiting São Miguel since before this time. It is possible to identify the individuals because of their tails, every tail is different (different shapes, scars, natural marks), just like a finger print!

To finished the morning we had a beautiful encounter with a group of bottlenose dolphins. It was the same group that we have seen for the last few days, Max's group! The sea was so calm that we could see the dolphing perfectly well... we could see the scars that they have and even some barnacles that are attached to their skin. Those barnacles are call pseudo-stalked barnacle (Xenobalanus globicipitis), they may look like parasites but they are not, they just use the dolphins as a free ride to filter the food.

In the afternoon tour we found the same species than in the morning, sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins. The sperm whales were more difficult to see, there were different animals in the area but all of them with the same behavior, doing swallow dives. The bottlenose dolphins, as usual, were curious and friendly  with our boats. What a beautiful day, we can not wait until tomorrow! :)

Photos from today:

Mr Liable!

 Another sperm whale

Sperm whale watching from the Catamaran

 pseudo-stalked barnacle in the dorsal fin of a bottlenose dolphin  (Xenobalanus globicipitis)

 Bottlenose dolphins

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