Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November sighting statistics

Today we lucky enough to have a break in the weather and go out during the morning. There were sperm whales in the area to mark the last day of November. During this past month we have seen 7 different cetacean species:
  • Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)
  • Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
  • Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus)
  • Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba)
  • Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis)
  • Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  • Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)
Tommorow the weather is expected to be even more settled then today, so we are hoping for a great start to the month of December.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

These photos taken this morning show a feeding frenzy that involved a large group of common dolphins and many seabirds (Cory´s shearwaters and yellow-legged gulls). It is always great to see this activity, as the dolphins work together to bring large schools of fish together to the surface. Several of the dolphins can be seen jumping, slapping their bodies on the surface to scare the fish underneath. The birds never miss an opportunity to dive down and grab as many fish as they can. It´s always a bonus for our passengers when we are able to see the dolphins and other interesting marine life such as birds.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dolphin day

Striped dolphin travelling at top speed

Today we had a full day of very good tours. The sun made an appearance and the sea was calm and clear. Although we did not see any whales today it turned out to be a great to to view (and swim with) several of our dolphin species. In the morning we saw Atlantic spotted dolphins, and during the afternoon we saw two groups of common dolphins and some striped dolphins passing through the area.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We have been experiencing some bad weather the past few days, so unfortunately we had to cancel all of our tours yesterday and the day before. Luckily today there was a break in the bad weather, and the sea had calmed down enough for us to head out for a tour this morning. We managed to find a good group of Atlantic spotted dolphins. No sperm whales today, but the last day we went out, before the bad weather hit, we had a male sperm whale (Mr Liable) feeding off our coastline:
Mr Liable - A large male sperm whale that frequently visits our waters
Tomorrow´s forecast predicts more rain and wind for us, but you never know for sure what will happen. We are looking forward to the next time we can get back out on the water for more great sightings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ribeira Quente walking tour

Our walking tour department has been busy recently, mainly with some nice German guests. Yesterday, we had a smaller group that did a walking tour in Gaiteira - Ribeira Quente. The day was very warm, the views were good, and after a few (unexpected) challanges, we finally made it to the end. After the 5.2km long walk, we drove to Furnas where we had the traditional "cozido" for lunch. After a few photo stops we ended our day with a visit to the Gorreana tea factory to have our 4 oclock tea break.

Here are some photos of the hike:

Our best regards to Peitersen and to Tabbert.
Thank you for joining our hikes!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bottlenose dolphins jumping next to our boat this afternoon

Atlantic spotted dolphins swimming beneath our boat

Cory´s shearwater seen feeding among the dolphins this morning

Today we had another round of very good tours on the water. In the morning and afternoon we saw the same group of pilot whales that we saw yesterday. In the morning the group was fairly spread out and diving frequently, but by the afternoon they had come together and we were able to see at least 30 individuals. In the morning our swimming clients had a great swim with a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins in our crystal clear calm waters. The Atlantic spotted dolphins were also great to watch for the rest of us that didn´t swim. We were lucky enough to see several hundred of these dolphins feeding together with a large number of birds (Cory´s shearwaters) flying overhead. Those that were on our afternoon whale watching tour got to see a very large and social group of bottlenose dolphins. There were at least 50 individuals in this group and they were all concentrated around our boat. We were lucky to see a lot of social behaviour, including tail slapping and some very impressive high jumps very close to our boat.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The last few days have been a little windy so we had to make a few cancellations. But luckily today is not too bad and we have been back on the water. After a bit of searching this morning we were able to locate a group of pilot whales. They were very spread out at first, but after a bit of patience the group came together and we were able to see a few mother-calf pairs:

2 pilot whale mothers with their calves swimming closely behind

In the late morning we also saw a large group of common dolphins. This group appeared to be feeding as we saw a lot of activity including a large number of birds flying above the dolphins.

At the moment we have another boat out at sea for the afternoon tour. Hopefully this tour will be another sucessful one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Anti-whaling day - November 5th/6th

Today is anti-whaling day. Throughout the world people are coming together to show their support for an end to illegal whaling activities that continue today, despite a global moratorium on commercial whaling. There are many events taking place in major cities around the world, which anybody is welcome to attend (click here to find events near you). You can also show your support by posting a S.T.O.P photo of yourself to the official anti-whaling day website (http://www.antiwhalingday.org/). Here at Futurismo Azores whale watching we are supporting this very important cause, and we have been gathering S.T.O.P photos of our staff and other people that work with us in the marina. Here are some of our photos:

The more photos we are able to contribute the stronger our voice will be. It's not to late to contribute, so we would like to encourage as many individuals and groups (such as schools, businesses and organisations) as possible to upload their S.T.O.P photos.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November sightings so far

This month we are off to a pretty good start with our whale watching and dolphin swimming tours. During the first two days of November we have already seen 4 different cetacean species: sperm whales, pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, and Atlantic spotted dolphins. A sei whale was also spotted of the coastline on the 1st of November, although we were not able to catch up with this individual to watch it from our boats.

Watching pilot whales - yesterday a group of at least 15 pilot whales was seen

A sperm whale mother and calf just a couple of miles off the coastline

This morning the wind has picked up so the sea state is too rough for us to go out whale watching. Hopefully the following days will be more settled so we can continue with our tours.
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