Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunny and warm day with whales and dolphins

Today we had a sunny and warm day with lot of sperm whales (it seemed the whole the family was together!) and a surprising sei whale! It was a day full of good moments great for taking nice pictures and movies! We also saw our kind and lovely resident dolphins, the bottlenose and common dolphins
We hope to have more days like today during this summer season.

Sei whale

Sei whale

Sperm whale (an individual we call "Orca" becaus of her saddle patch)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The seven wonders of the day!

Today we had a outstanding day...we have been with seven diferent cetacean species: sperm whale, pilot whale, beaked whale, false killer whale, common dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin and Risso´s dolphin. Not to mention the turtles and the flying fish! Both our morning and afternoon tours were made even better with a glorious sun and a beautiful ocean that was almost perfectly flat.

False killer whale

Sperm whale diving

Risso's dolphin leaping

Pilot whales

Saturday, June 28, 2008

False killer whales, sperm whales and dolphins

The last 3 days have been full of good surprises for us. First a group of false killer whales appeared, apparently from nowhere. We watched them for a while, travelling with them at an amazing speed of 16 knots. Unbelievable  The rest of the time was with our more regular species: sperm whales, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins in a huge group that seemed to be made up of more babies than mothers. Most of the time the sun was out, making everything more colourful and warm.

Sperm whale

False killer whales

Common dolphins (adult and calf)

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Swimming with dolphins and watching sperm whales

This morning we had a very nice dolphin swimming tour. First we tried to swim with some common dolphins, but they were travelling too quickly so we switched to a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins. They appeared in a huge group which included many mother-calf pairs. Everybody had the chance to swim with them until they were satisfied. Before leaving the group we stuck around to just appreciate their acrobatics while our observation boats continued further to Ponta Garça to see a group of sperm whales

In the afternoon the wind increased but we still resighted the sperm whales. On this tour one of our boats also had the chance to observe Atlantic spotted dolphins.

Loggerhead turtle

Swimming with dolphins tour - our clients

Atlantic spotted dolphin leaping

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sperm whale close-up!

Sperm whale head close-up
This weekend started a bit strange...first our vigias (onshore lookouts) didn't see any animals and from the boats we also didn't see any sign of life. Then out of the blue our encounters began. First we sighted a large group of common dolphins and striped dolphins. Sunday was the best day, as on this day we sighted Atlantic spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, many sperm whales and a fin whale to end the day. We also had some fabulous dolphin swims, leaving us with a great day we will not forget!

A group of sperm whales logging on the surface

Swimming with dolphins

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dolphins all around

Today we only had a tour in the morning because the wind increased later in the day, making conditions unsuitable to go out. Still, the morning was good and we encountered striped dolphins, common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. The dolphins were surfing and leaping over the waves. It was a lovely trip full of dolphins all around our boat.

Common dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Striped dolphin

Thursday, June 19, 2008

100% of our tours with whales this month

So far this month we have seen whales on 100% of our tours! The most sighted were sperm whales followed by fin whales and sei whale. Of course we have seen many dolphins too (pilot whales, Atlantic spotted dolphin, common dolphin, striped dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and Risso's dolphin). The past week has been full of cetacean encounters and wonderful opportunities to swim with the dolphins in the wild.

A rare close encounter with a sperm whale

One of our zodiac boats (not the two whale blows in the background)

Another one of our boats with a sei whale

Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer is here - 9 cetacean species in the Azores

Finally we had beautiful days perfect for whale watching. To make the days even better, we have been seeing many species in our recent tours. Already this month we have encountered 9 different cetacean species: sperm whale, fin whale, sei whale, pilot whale, Risso's dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, striped dolphin and Atlantic spotted dolphin. We have also seen a lot of sharks, sunfish (Mola mola), flying fish and a few turtles. It seems that the mornings have been better than the afternoons, with more activity closer to the island. We hope that the next days bring more exciting adventures! 

Sunday, June 1, 2008

June starts with whales

June started with grey skies, but with the same high level of observations. This morning it was foggy so the visibility was poor and not good for whale watching. But we decided to take the chance and ended up finding sperm whales south of Vila Franca and bottlenose dolphins in the area of Galera. In the end everybody enjoyed the tour. . To bad to the whale watching. The watchers got nothing to us, but as the sea is calm we decide to take the chance. In the afternoon we had the same luck. We began our tour with an encounter with bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Água d'Alto. Next we went to Ribeira Quente to see the sperm whales. We got to see a whole family made up of males, females and as usual a lot of calves. Super!

May 2008 sighting statistics

Throughout the month of May we encountered 8 different cetacean species. In the graph above you can see the sightings frequency for all the days we have been to sea this month. Listed below are the common names of these species, listed in order of sighting frequency:

May ends in beauty!

Futurismo ended May with a perfect whale watching. We had spectacular days with a lot of whales, not only the resident sperm whale, but also with fin whales and sei whales. And of course, with the friendly bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. It seems the weather is changing and we can smell summer time. This means that the Atlantic spotted dolphins will be here very soon to join us for the warmer months.
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