Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November 2008 sighting statistics

This month we have encountered five different cetacean species during our tours. We did not have many tours this month due to bad weather and a lot of cancellations, but we still managed to have many good sightings on the days that we did go out. The graph above shows the encounter frequency (number of days encountered of all the days we went to sea this month) for each species sighted in November. Common names are listed below, ordered by encounter frequency:

November starts and ends in beauty

November was a slightly unusual month. During the first days of the month we had very good weather and nice sightings at sea. Then conditions changed and we had many windy grey days, meaning we had to cancel a lot of our tours. Last days were nice and calm again. Our observations reflected the conditions throughout the month. In total we encountered five cetacean species: sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, Risso's dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins.

Monday, November 3, 2008

October 2008 sighting statistics

This October we have had some really great whale watching tours with many different species. During this month we have encountered 8 different cetacean species. As usual the most sighted dolphin was the common dolphin and the most sighted whale was the sperm whale. Sighting frequencies (number of days sighted of all the days we went to sea) of all species can be seen in the graph above. Species common names are listed below, ordered by those encountered most frequently to those encountered less frequently:

Beautiful October swimming with a whale shark

The month of October brought us a nice summer weather with a lot of animals. Eight species of cetaceans (sperm whale, minke whale, Bryde's whale, pilot whale, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin and Risso’s dolphins) have been observed and, once again, a gentle whale shark. A few people were lucky to swim with the whale shark (shown in the following photo).

Whale shark, accompanied by pilot fish

Friday, October 17, 2008

A visit from a whale shark, a minke whale and more whale and dolphin species

This month has been full of nice surprises in São Miguel. We have had perfect summer weather with sun, flat seas and many species to see. Over the past few days we have encountered sperm whales, bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins and common dolphins

Today was another great day, starting in the morning we our resident common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins and following up with a group of pilot whales. Among them we spotted a different fin which turned out to be from a minke whale, our first of the season!  For the afternoon our vigia (onshore lookout) found us a large group of at least 200 dolphins as well as sperm whales. Just when we thought we had it all we encountered a whale shark (the world's largest fish). We stopped to swim with the gentle giant for a while, before continuing to the sperm whales for a perfect end to the day.

Whale shark underwater (accompanied by pilot fish)

Minke whale

Pilot whales

Bottlenose dolphin

Common dolphin

Friday, October 10, 2008

Swimming with dolphins with Futurismo

Today we spent the afternoon taking a group of young sailors (from the school ship "Danmark") swimming with wild dolphins. It was a great experience for all, going overboard and entering the water to be surrounded by the dolphins of the Azores.

Dolphin swimming photos from one of our passengers

At the end of last month Eva Damhaug from Norway came to swim with dolphins in the Azores to celebrate her birthday. Eva came on several tours with us and she was kind enough to share her following photos with us. Thank you Eva!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Five species again

Five seems to be the magic number for us at the moment. Today we had another glorious day of whale watching and we saw the same five species that we saw yesterday: sperm whale, pilot whale, common dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. The weather was fin with sung, good visibility and a calm blue ocean. Basically great conditions for whale watching that makes our job seem easy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Give me five...

...species in the same trip! That's exactly what we encountered today. Five cetacean species: sperm whale, pilot whale, common dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, and bottlenose dolphin. To make things even better we had warm sunny weather and a calm sea. The spotted dolphins were encountered in the hundreds, bringing a lot of joy to our passengers. Ofcourse the whales were very special to see too. Let's hope October keep's bringing us so many animals and great times like today!

Spotted dolphin surfacing

Bottlenose dolphin, with one of our boats in the background

Pilot whale dorsal fin

Two sperm whales diving in unison...perfect!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September 2008 sighting statistics

This September we have encountered 8 different cetacean species. The sighting statistics (number of days encountered of all the days we went to sea) for each species are shown in the graph above. The champs are: the common dolphins and the Atlantic spotted dolphins. On the whales side the sperm whale which is resident in the Azores had the highest encounter frequency. Species common names are listed below in order of sighting frequency:

Bryde's whale in the Azores

September has ended and left us with many nice memories of whales and dolphins. This month we have encountered 8 different cetacean species (sperm whale, sei whale, Bryde's whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, Risso's dolphin and striped dolphin). The Bryde's whale (pictured on the left and below) was particularly special as it is a rare summer visitor that is not sighted often in the Azores. This month we have also been with some whale sharks that were really great to swim with! Now it seems that summer is leaving us very quickly, as we are experiencing some fresh northeasterlies.

Bryde's whale (identified by the three ridges on top of the head)

Dive sequence of a well known sperm whale (we call him Mr Liable) diving

Monday, September 1, 2008

September starts with sperm whales close to Ponta Delgada

Today we have been with a group of about a dozen sperm whales south of Ponta Delgada. In this same area we also found Atlantic spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso´s dolphins. The weather was simply perfect, making a good start to the month.

Sperm whale logging

Sperm whale fluking

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 2008 sighting statistics

As usual in this month we had great encounters with 10 different cetacean species. The encounter frequency (number of days encountered of all the days we went to sea) for each of these species can be seen in the graph above. The common names can be seen listed below (ordered by encounter frequency):

Saturday, August 30, 2008

4 whale species including Bryde's whales in São Miguel, Azores

In the last days we have seen our resident sperm whales and we have also had more rare encounters with Bryde´s whalesfin whales and sei whales. As usual there have also been many dolphins in the area. In recent days we have seen bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, striped dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins and Risso´s dolphins. That's 9 cetacean species in the space of just a few days! To make it even better we have had great weather too. Below are some of our photos from recent tours:

Sperm whale rolling over and showing part of its tail

Sperm whale diving

Sperm whale diving

Common dolphins

Risso's dolphin

Risso's dolphin

Risso's dolphins
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