Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 sighting statistics

As 2010 draws to a close the team at Futurismo is looking back to another great year of whale watching experienced here in the Azores. This year we saw 16 cetacean species: common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, striped dolphin, Risso's dolphin, pilot whale, false killer whale, Northern bottlenose whale, beaked whale species (probably Sowerby's beaked whale), sperm whale, Bryde's whale, humpback whale, blue whale, minke whale, sei whale, and fin whale. We had some very memorable moments, including a record sighting of 7 species in one day and a rare encounter with breaching humpback whales. 2010 has also been a good year for us to see blue whales, the largest animals in the world!

Ofcourse we can't forget the numerous other species encountered, including our local seabirds, turtles, flying fish,and sharks. We would like to thank our visitors from the past year. It has been a pleasure sharing our unforgetable tours with you. We look forward to another great year to come, and hope to share the beauty of the Azores with many more people.

The Futurismo team

Last tour of 2010 and December sighting statistics

This morning we had our last whale watching tour of 2010. Visibility wasn't the greatest, making it difficult to find animals. But we did manage to encounter a small group of our resident bottlenose dolphins, as well as a loggerhead turtle.

Bottlenose dolphin seen on this morning's tour

Todays encounter brings us to a total of 6 cetacean species for the month:

  • sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)
  • Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
  • Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus)
  • Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis)
  • Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
  • Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)

Not bad considering we only had 5 tour during the month of December due to the unsettled weather and lower passanger numbers which is typical for this time of the year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This morning we took a group of passengers out on our catamaran. Luckily the sea state was very good and our vigias (watch men) were able to find us a nice group of Risso's dolphins. For this type of dolphin the group size is normally very small, so it was great that we were able to see at least 15-20 inviduals. There were several young juveniles and calves inbetween the larger adults of the group. Some of us got to see a few of the dolphins tail slapping and being very active at the surface.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This morning we were lucky to go out on a whale watching tour and encounter a very large group of Atlantic spotted dolphins. We would usually expect this species to leave our waters around this time of the year, so it was good to still see them around. It was even better to see that many of them had recently given birth, so there were a lot of newborn calves among the group of adults and juveniles.

We saw at least several hundred dolphins (it was difficult to estimate the numbers because there were so many of them spread over a large area). Although there was a very large swell from our recent bad weather, it gave for excellent surfing conditions for the dolphins. Our passengers were delighted to see large groups of dolphins coming up to surf the waves in unison. Among the surfers we also saw several of the younger juvenile dolphins leaping several metres vertically out of the waves. Definitely a great memory for this morning´s passengers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Futurismo Azores Whale Watching proporciona Natal mais alegre.

Mais de 50 crianças de instituições de solidariedade social de São Miguel vão poder observar baleias e golfinhos. A oferta das viagens aconteceu num almoço/festa organizado hoje no hotel Açores Atlântico, em Ponta Delgada. A iniciativa é da agência de viagem Hispania, da Finlandia, e contou com a colaboração da Bravo Tours e Solresor, bem como da Futurismo, Bensaúde, BigBlue e Auto Viação Micaelense. É o quinto ano que é organizado este convívio para crianças de lares de acolhimento. Esta é uma forma de levar a quem mais necessita, uma oportunidade de convívio e de, simplesmente, poder receber uma prenda este Natal.

A participação da Futurismo deve-se ao facto da empresa entender que assume, também, uma função social e de abertura à sociedade onde está inserida.

Da nossa parte sentimo-nos felizes por poder levar um sorriso a mais crianças e jovens. Um Bom Natal!
This morning offered a "smooth" time at sea, with long waves and a sea the colors of silver and blue. We headed soutwest and there under a group of yellow-legged gulls we met up with some comnon dolphins. It was a small group of some ten animals, a group size very representative for the winter time here. In the vicinity we had some local fishing boats that were out catching squid and unluckly for them but luckly for us this had some hungry Risso´s dolphins comming around. Most of them were old animals, white and big, and when they had had their pick of the food they started socialising and jumping, giving us the chance to take some good ID photos. We also saw four Macaronesian shearwaters flying around and bobbing about on the surface, very cute, as we are more costumed to the bigger Cory's shearwater. Here are some photos from this morning's tour:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Great start to the month of December!

Sperm whale going on a deep dive

Risso's dolphin
Large male pilot whale going on a dive

Pilot whales

This morning we had a great start to the month of december. Today is a beautiful day and the sea was calm and clear. During our morning whale watching tour we saw a group of sperm whales (mothers and their young), several groups of pilot whales, and a group of Risso's dolphins. Our passengers were very pleased to have a very good look at these 3 species. Both the pilot whales and Risso's dolphins dived under our boats and came very close for us all to see. The above photos are from the tour this morning.
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