Sunday, June 11, 2017

Seven species and a photo-ID match!

Today we had a fantastic day on the sea! June has been great so far; in the nine days that we went out we have seen already nine different species of cetaceans.

At this time of the year the chance to see a variety of different species is high, the baleen whales are still passing by while they are migrating to the North and the seasonal species are starting to arrive to the Azores to spend the summer.

In the morning tour we saw sperm whales, which is the largest animal in the world with teeth. We found four adults who were logging at the surface and we could even see the tail from two of them!
The list of the dolphins seen from the different boats in the morning is long, we saw two of the resident species: common and bottlenose dolphins and two seasonal species: spotted and striped dolphins.

In the afternoon tour, we added two more species to the list. These two species of whales have different records; the fin whale is the second largest animal in the world (growing up to 27 meters) and the humpback whale is the whale with the largest pectoral fins (up to 5 meters in length).

Our catamaran Quatro Ventos was really lucky to find the humpback whale very close to the shore (in an area just 60 metres deep). We could see the tail many times, that allowed us to take pictures for photo identification. We have fantastic news, we found a match to a whale that we saw today, it was seen 27 days ago in Cape Verde! Another comparison later confirmed that this same humpback whale was also seen in Norway in 2014. How amazing is that!?

Photos from today:

Sperm whale about to dive

 Sperm whale blowing

"Sperm whale watching"

Bottlenose dolphins at the surface 

Another tail of a sperm whale from the morning

Fin whales

Humpback whale blow - luckily spotted by one of our biologists in the afternoon

The humpback whale

Humpback whale raising its tail to dive

 Sperm whale in the afternoon

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