Sunday, April 30, 2017

April ends with blue whale tails!

We ended the moth of April in one of the best ways possibly - seeing blue whales! But not only that, throughout the day they were lifting their tails out of the water, a behaviour we don't see often from the blue whales in the Azores. These massive tails can reach about 6 metres across, making us feel really small, even on our bigger catamaran. Today's encounters brough our statistics to 14 blue whale tours in the last 16 days! Bue whales weren't the only big whale species we saw today though. Throughout the day we also encountered the second largest animal in the world (fin whale) as well as the third largest (sei whale). We also enjoyed the company of common dolphins in both the morning and afternoon tours, and in the afternoon from one of our boats a group of striped dolphins was also seen.


Photos from the morning:

Blue whale tail!

Blue whale blow

Another blue whale

Again, the tail of one of the blue whales

One of the blue whales rolling on its side, showing its pectoral fin and throat pleats

2 blue whales together

Sei whale

Common dolphin

Common dolphin


Photos from the afternoon:

Fin whale

Fin whale

Seeing a blue whale blow from our catamaran

Blue whale

Blue whale tail

Blue whale tail

Blue whale arching its back to dive

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Another blue whale in São Miguel

This year is shaping up to be a good one for blue whales in São Miguel. This morning we had another blue whale sighting from aboard our catamaran, making it our 12th blue whale tour in 15 days! It was an exciting encounter, out on the big blue, riding over the waves and being in the presence of the largest animal that has ever lived on earth! Before our blue whale encounter we also came across a small group of common dolphins who were enjoying playing in the waves. 


Photos of the blue whale from today:





Friday, April 28, 2017

Rough sea full of Baleen Whales!

After a couple of days with strong wind and wavy sea we managed to go out today and what a day! We have found four different baleen whale species during our tours. The sea conditions were not the best, but finally all our clients were smiling after seeing four of the largest whales on earth in just one trip. We are confirming every day we go out, that this is the right time in the Azores to see baleen whales. In the morning tour we started with fin whales, followed by a blue whale, a humpback whale and 4 sei whales! Usually we don't find so many species together in one area, but today all of them were probably feeding around the same place. In the afternoon the wind calmed down and the fin whales started coming out everywhere. We counted about 5 different animals around in one area. In the distance we still saw a sei whale's fin but we could not see it well. The day ended in the best way ...with a big blue whale!!!


Photos from this morning:

Humpback whale (notice the white pectoral fin through the water)

Humpback whale blow

Blue whale

Sei whale dorsal fin (very distinct and pointy in this species)

Fin whale (our fourth whale species for the morning tour)


Photos from this afternoon:

Mother-calf pair of fin whales this afternoon

Balaenoptera borealis | Sei whale

Balaenoptera physalus | Fin whale


Balaenoptera musculus | Blue whale


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

8 species in the same day!



There are good days… and there’s days like today! We saw an overall of 8 species during the day! Blue, fin, sei and a sperm whale, common, bottlenose and stripeddolphins and false killer whales!

April is being an amazing month of sightings, sao Miguel is full of whales out there, as we are encountering them every day we go outside; this is the first day in the year that we are able to see four biggest animals in the world, the big baleen whales (blue, fin and sei) and the biggest one among the toothed, the sperm whale.
All the species of dolphins were also very interesting to see as they got curious, specialy the false killer whale provided a very nice show bowriding our boats for a very long time, don't forget that this dolphins can lenght around 6 metters, so they are quiete impresive when put themselves under boats!

Some photos of our tours:


Fantastic blue whale surfacing




We can apreciate the beautiful pattern of the blue whales




Sei whales are much more darker than blue whales



Sei whale surfacing




Here we can see the dorsal of the sperm whale we saw, notice how different the skin is comparing with baleen whales



False killer whales were very courius and playfull with the boat





False killer whale





False killer whale





Notice that the shape of the head is very unique








The bottlenose dolphins








Bottlenose dolphins were also playfull


Sunday, April 23, 2017

False killer whales, blue whales and fin whales

Today was another fantastic day out on the ocean. We started our morning tour with the good news that our lookout had found two blue whales not far out of Ponta Delgada. When we arrived we didn't have to wait long to see them and they were both big individuals that showed themselves well. After seeing the blue whales on a few different surfacings we were suddenly surprised to be joined by a group of false killer whales. They seemed to appear from nowhere to join our boats and they were very active. We could see several of these false killer whales jumping high out of the water, reminding us that these incredible animals actually belong to the dolphin family. In the afternoon the baleen whales didn't let us down again. We encountered one, or possibly two blue whales again and we also had a few different fin whales that we encountered from our different boats. The whole day was an exciting and adrenaline filled experience, from the blue whales to the false killer whales, to two loggerhead turtles that we spotted together at the surface from aboard our catamaran.



Photos from today:

False killer whales:

False killer whales  were very active jumping a lot











Blue whale:

The big blow of the blue whale can be seen from very far away

Dorsal of the blue whale is very usefull for photo ID










Fin whale:





One of our zodiac boats in the afternoon

One of the loggerhead turtles from today
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