Monday, November 12, 2018

Risso's and bottlenose dolphins together!

Today we had a beautiful morning, after a few days on land due to bad weather. Early in our trip, we were able to spot a small group of common dolphins, with some birds (cory's shearwater and seagulls). 

After leaving the area, we were lucky to find risso's dolphins along with bottlenose dolphins, an association that is not common to see attending an event of interactions between species (more aggressive behavior by the risso's dolphins). There are already some reports of rissos's dolphins showing more aggressive behavior towards other species, like sperm whales and pilot whales. 

After the event the species took opposite directions, we stayed with the small group of bottlenose dolphins in constant dives and then we returned to the risso's dolphins that were also in constant dives.

Photos by Rafael Martins

Thursday, November 8, 2018

October whale watching statistics 2018: São Miguel Island

Although this month we could already feel the arrival of autumn, with some windy rainy days and rough sea conditions, we were still able to go out a lot and enjoyed some really beautiful trips, full of surprises and unexpected findings.
During October we were able to see 6 different species of whales and dolphins. Our resident species were very present this month, with the common dolphin as the most encountered species followed by the bottlenose dolphin. 

Sperm whales didn’t cease to amaze us, with few breachings along the month, spyhopping or flukes among other typical behaviors from these animals. 

Risso’s and spotted dolphins and pilot whales were the icing on the cake.

We were lucky to find other animals like flying fish, a loggerhead sea turtle or even a hammerhead shark. 

Besides that there was a notable presence of Cory’s shearwaters, the juvenile individuals are now leaving the nests with limited flying ability and we must keep an eye for individuals in difficult situations and help them get to the shore safe and sound.

Let’s see what November holds for us!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Dolphins watching in São Miguel

Today we had the opportunity to go out. We went to the east, where the sea was not so bad. We saw some groups of common dolphins that accompanied our boat for a long time. 
Since we were close to the islet of Vila Franca do Campo we decided to have a look. We hope the good weather just returns quickly.

Photos by David Rodrigues 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How to reduce plastic consumption?

China and Indonesia are the countries that produce largest amount of plastic in the world, including more than a third of the plastic bottles, bags and other detritus washed out to the sea. These two countries are responsible for 12 million metric tons of poorly processed plastic, from which 8.42 million tons end up going to the oceans every year.

This image below realize the TOP 10 of Marine debris:

Fortunately, there are many groups of people that want to do something about this problem. They, for instance, clean up beaches or try to reduce the number of plastics we use in our daily lives. And we can also help, decreasing our plastic consumption:
  • Carry reusable shopping bags (over 700 plastic bags a year are consumed for every single person on the planet);
  • Carry a reusable water bottle or coffee cup in public (a normal plastic bottle takes about 450 years to break down completely, so the components of a bottle dropped in the ocean today could still be polluting the waters for our great-great-great-…-grandchildren);
  • Say no to straws or carry a metal straw in your bag (straws harm marine wildlife and ecosystems);
  • Switch to reusable menstrual products;
  • Avoid take-away food or food products that are wrapped in plastic or styrofoam;
  • Don’t be fooled by “compostable” plastic products. These items are only truly compostable in composting facilities (which we often don’t have access to.);
  • Do not support stores that use plastic, bring your own containers or avoid them completely;
  • Don’t release balloons into the air. They travel far and end up in our oceans where they are often consumed by marine life that mistakes them for food;
  • Recycle. Learn how to if you weren’t taught in school. 

    When traveling:

  • Pack reusable bags, containers and water bottles. Fill up your water bottle at restaurants or hotel fill-ups to avoid buying plastic;
  • Pack zero waste snacks for flights/ travel. Re-use your food containers throughout your trip as you empty them;
  • “No straw please”, again;
  •  Avoid takeout/ delivery food and opt for local markets or restaurants instead;
  • Make the effort to recycle your trash aboard. Wash it and carry it with you until you find proper disposal bins;
  • Opt for Eco-friendly accommodations. Give back to your vacation destination. Get creative.

We have to take care of the oceans, we have to take care of the Earth!” Sylvia Earle

Written by Andreia Vieira


Monday, November 5, 2018

Risso's dolphins and a Sperm whale in São Miguel Island

Although the sea was a little bit rough today, we could still enjoy this beautiful sunny day.

In the beginning of the trip we found a small group of male risso's close to shore.

After some time of navigation, the crew saw one sperm whale blow at distance so we headed there and passed some time with the animal up to when it fluked to go in a deep dive. 

On our way back we were visited by a cory's shearwater that landed in our boat. Gladly he was safe and we were able to realeased it back in the ocean.

Photos by Rafael Martins 

Risso's dolphin

Sperm whale

Sperm whale tail

Sperm whale tail

Sperm whale at surface 

Risso's dolphin and a cory's shearwater 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Common and Bottlenose dolphins in whale watching tours of São Miguel Island

Today the wind was a bit stronger. We went to the east and we found a group of bottlenose dolphins. 

Our lookout called our boat because he had seen a blow of a baleen whale. We still went to the area, but we could not find the animal. 

We were coming back to Ponta Delgada when we found a surprising group of common dolphins.

Photos by Rafael Martins

Common dolphins

Bottlenose head slapping

Bottlenose head slapping II

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Saturday, November 3, 2018

What do you do when you encounter a disoriented cory's shearwaters

Today early in the morning, one of our lookouts found a young shearwater on his way to work. What should you do in this situation? You have several options: you can pick up the shearwater and give it to the Police or to the Vigilantes da Natureza

They will take care of the bird and release it within the best possible conditions. Or you can pick it up and put it inside a box to set it free early in the morning by the sea. And that's what we did!  

At this time of the year, it is not rare to find young shearwaters lost or disoriented in unexpected places. Usually, they are young animals, which has just left their nests and are ready (or almost ready!) to undertake their first oceanic journey. When these shearwaters appear on the roads or nearby, we all should help! 

This time, our lookout picked up the shearwater, brought it back to our activity center at Portas do Mar, and we arranged a SOS Shearwater box to keep it while heading to a place to set it free. We went to the north coast of the island and put it out of the box. It was moving around for a while, taking its time, and finally, it opened their wings and started to fly into the open ocean. In spite of their youth, visible because of the kind of feathers on the head and belly, this young shearwater look ready to fly away into its oceanic journey!

Furthermore, we didn't forget about reporting the encounter on the SOS Cagarro website, where there is a special application to report these situations. Just need some personal information, location and any other comments. Easy for everyone! And helpful for this species!

Rescues Registration – SOS Cagarro check this link 
Learn more about this seabird (migration and reproduction) 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Today we had a special guest on board...a Cory’s shearwater. Do you know why?

Autumn day! Feeling the flavor of the Atlantic Ocean, salty and not cold at all! And with the sun shining in the sky all morning :D

We spent our morning with hundreds of common dolphins beside the boat. Some of them were together with plenty of Cory’s shearwaters, which were very active today!

Today we had also a special guest on board: a Cory’s shearwater that was found yesterday night on land. We release it during our trip to fly away with the other shearwaters.

We were looking for Risso’s dolphins in the area, but only a couple of fins were visible to us. Let’s see tomorrow!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hello November, hello Sperm Whales!

We begin our month of November going to the west side of our island in a shinny clear day. We started the morning with a huge group of common dolphins and started we moved to west. We also saw small fliying fish jumping our of the water :)

We found a family of sperm whales with at least 20 animals. Is there a better way to start the month than with curious sperm whales?

Video by Mariana Silva

Photos by Rui Santos

Swimming with common dolphins

Small flying fish

Common dolphins

Common dolphin

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Common dolphins and Cory's shearwater in São Miguel tours

Our resident common dolphins closed the month of October. 
The sea was not perfect, but it was possible to see 2 groups of common dolphins. 
Another species that accompanied us during the whole trip were our Cory's shearwater. Have a scary day on this Halloween! 😉

Photos by Rafael Martins and Rui Santos 

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