Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Plenty of species to watch!

Today was another summer day with plenty of species to watch! The morning tour started with the majestic tail of a male sperm whale, before it went on a deep dive we could enjoy it for a bit at the surface. The dolphins were close to the “whale zone”, there was a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins feeding together with Cory´s shearwater. We know that there was a lot of fish in the area as we could see the bait ball from the boat. When the small schooling fish (in this case probably mackerel) are threatened by predators they swarm in a tightly packed spherical formation about a common centre.  This is a defense mechanism, as lone individuals are more likely to be eaten than an individual in a large group. The next sighting from the morning was really special… Short finned pilot whales! Today was only the second sighting of this summer. The individuals from this family were all swimming side by side, it was a group size between 20-30 animals. On our way towards the island (catamaran Quatro Ventos) we met another pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins feeding, but they approached us immediately to surf in our bow waves as well as in the wake of our boat.

In the afternoon we could saw the same two Bryde's whales that we have been seeing all week. It is a mother and calf pair who are always really nice to watch, as they are very calm and the surface and the calf always surfaces with its head high out of the water. After the Bryde's whales we went for the sperm whales, who were very shy, spending just a few minutes at the surface and then starting a deep dive before the boats could get close. From aboard our catamaran "Cetus" however, we were out later  and had the chance for a second attempt and this time we were lucky to see one of the larges males at the surface for longer, and then see his massive tail as he went down into the depths.

Photos from today:

Sperm whale at the surface

The tail of the sperm whale

Atlantic spotted dolphins

The Bryde whale mother and baby from the afternoon

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