Monday, June 5, 2017

A day with 5 species

We had a beautiful day today; the ocean was full of life proving that the Azores is one of the best places in the world to see whales and dolphins.

In the morning we saw the three species of dolphins that are resident in these islands. We started with a big group of common dolphins that, as usual, were friendly with the boat approaching us really close. The second species of dolphin that we saw was the bottlenose dolphin, they were socializing with each other, we could see some of them mating and jumping out of the water, probably trying to show off…  In the same area of the bottlenose dolphins we found a pod of Risso’s dolphins! They were travelling really fast, it looked like some bottlenose dolphins were chasing after the Risso’s dolphins, sometimes it is possible to see different species travelling or socializing with each other in a friendly way but today it seemed that they were not.

Our encounters with the whales in the morning were really good too. We saw the largest animals in the world travelling together. At least 5 fin whales (including a mom and a calf) together with a blue whale. This association is not strange for us, in our waters we see both species travelling together sometimes, and actually, hybrids of fin whales and blue whales are well documented.
In the afternoon tour we manage to see lots of bottlenose dolphins, spread out not very far from the coast. We found later on a small group of common dolpins, even without babies this time. Whales were not so easy to find as in the morning, but we tried, and finally we found it! A fin whale again completed our afternoon trip.

Photos from today:

Risso's dolphin at the surface

Two fin whales together

Fin whale (note the white color from the right side of the lower jaw)

Risso's dolphins surfacing with Ponta Delgada as background

Blue whale surfacing
Common dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

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