Monday, July 10, 2017

Familiar sperm whales, beaked whales and dolphins

This morning we received the exciting news from our onshore lookout that we had sperm whales to see. It turned out to be a familiar group that we refer to as the blue group. From aboard our catamaran twice we managed to see the tail of one very known individual. This individual is a big female who we call "Valentina". We first encountered her in on the 10th of July in 2009, so exactly 8 years ago! She has also been encountered off the central group of the Azores. Another nice surprise this morning was a rare encounter with about 5 Sowerby's beaked whales. We could identify this elusive species from the typical long beak and the way they surface coming with their beaks high out of the water. Sadly though we noticed later one of these beaked whales had a net trapped on its face, possibly wrapped around the mouth. Ghost fishing nets is a big problem for marine life and needs to be addressed to reduce the countless deaths they cause. Finally, in the morning we also encountered a nice curious group of Atlantic spotted dolphins to put a smile on everybody's faces. The afternoon was just as great, again with sperm whales and a lot of dolphins. We encountered the same group of sperm whales as in the morning, the blue group. This time they were socialising, all grouping up together at the surface and often spyhopping. It is great to enjoy some of our more typical summer sightings again.

Photos from the morning:

A sperm whale we call "Valentina"

Valentina the sperm whale going on a deep dive

Sowerby's beaked whale surfacing

Sowerby's beaked whales

Sadly one of the beaked whales had a net on its face

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

Cory's shearwater

Photos from the afernoon:

The sperm whale group

The bottom jaw of one of the sperm whales

Sperm whales spyhopping (showing their heads)

Watching Atlantic spotted dolphins

Atlantic spotted dolphins - mother and calf pair

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