Sunday, October 24, 2010

The weather and sea state have been great the past two days, so we have been able to have some fantastic tours out on the water. Yesterday we saw sperm whales, Risso's dolphins and bottlenose dolphins in both the morning and afternoon. Today we saw the same group of sperm whales, and also the same bottlenose dolphins that were seen yesterday. The Risso's dolphins were not around anymore today, but instead we had pilot whales and common dolphins in the area.

A very curious bottlenose dolphin

Incredible experience: swimming with wild dolphins

Large group of at least 40 pilot whales that were seen today

The weather is expected to remain good for at least the next week, so we are hoping for some more great tours during this time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A day of dolphins and rainbows

Today has been a good day for dolphin swimming and watching here in the Azores. Within minutes of leaving the marina this morning we came across our first group of dolphins, and from then on we saw several more groups throughout the day. Although we did not see any whales today ,we saw 3 different dolphin species: Risso's dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and common dolphins. We encountered brief patches of rain, but this created some very beautiful rainbows to brighten up our encounters. It was a very memorable experience, watching and swimming with dolphins beneath a rainbow:

Swimming with bottlenose dolphins under a rainbow

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today the weather allowed us to return to the sea again for another great day of whale watching and swimming with dolphins. During both the morning and afternoon 3 different cetacean species were seen, giving a total of 5 different species throughout the entire day. Our encounters in the morning were with a group of common dolphins and a mixed group of bottlenose dolphins and Risso´s dolphins that were socialising together. During the afternoon we saw common dolphins again, striped dolphins, and a large male sperm whale that we call "Mr Liable".

One of the Risso´s dolphins we saw with a group of bottlenose dolphins this morning

Our passengers viewing "Mr Liable" - a male sperm whale that regularly visits our waters

Some of the striped dolphins that we saw this afternoon - they were "running" at very high speeds, which is typical behaviour for this species
Hopefully tomorrow the weather and see state will remain favourable so that we may have another day of successful tours.

Friday, October 15, 2010

After a week of almost continous bad weather, we have been lucky to have a return to calm seas in the past 2 days. Both yesterday and today we saw our resident bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and sperm whales. Yesterday's sperm whale sighting was of a large male that we have come to know as Mr Liable. This individual frequently visits our area, and he has been doing so for many years. We can easily recognise Mr Liable when he dives, just by seeing the distinct marks on his tail. Today we had a group of sperm whales in the area during the morning and afternoon. This group was made up of several females and their calves, and we were lucky to see many of their tails as they went on their deep dives. Here are some of the moments that today's passengers got to witness:

Common dolphins jumping and bowriding in front of our catamaran

Sperm whale mother and calf

Thursday, October 7, 2010

STOP killing whales

On November 5th, "Anti-Whaling day" will be celebrated around the world. Here in the Azores we support the protection, and not the hunting of whales. To help with this important cause we will be informing and educating as many people as possible on the effect of whaling on the status of the world's whale populations. This is part of our ongoing goal to prove that it is not necessary to kill whales, and that they can in fact be important to the local economy. We do this daily by taking our guests on educational tours to see whales and dolphins in their natural environment, and by monitoring their populations through scientific research. Whale watching in the Azores has sucessfuly replaced our old memories of whaling.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Common dolphin bowriding in crystal-clear waters
Risso´s dolphin

After a full day of rain and wind yesterday it was a pleasant surprise to find the water calm and flat this morning. We had some great tours this morning, with sightings of 5 different cetacean species: sperm whales, Atlantic spotted dolphins, striped dolphins, common dolphins, and Risso´s dolphins. The water is so clear today that we were able to see the dolphins diving to at least 20 metres beneath our boat. This afternoon´s tours that are currently underway are hopefully just as great as those of the morning.

Friday, October 1, 2010

September sighting statistics

September has been another good month for whale watching in the Azores. The weather allowed us to run tours for 28 of the 30 days of the month, and each of those days we were able to see whales and/or dolphins. Throughout the month we saw 11 different whale and dolphins species:

  • Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)
  • Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  • Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis)
  • Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba)
  • Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus)
  • Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
  • Beaked whales (Mesoplodon spp.)
  • Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)
  • Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera edeni)

It has been a particularly good month for seeing very large groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins and nursery groups of sperm whales. Although we are coming to the end of our busy season we are still seeing plenty of whales and dolphins, and we are ready for another good month of great sightings. We are already off to a good start for October, as this morning we saw a group of sperm whales (including one small whale that breached 3 times in a row) and Atlantic spotted dolphins.
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