Monday, March 28, 2011

Fotos de Baleia de bossa do nosso cliente - Humpback whale photos from our client

Hoje recebemos estas fotos muito boas das baleias de bossas (e uma tartaruga comum) que vimos este mês:

Today we received these very good photos of the humpback whales (and a loggerhead turtle) that we saw this month:


Aqui está a mensagem que também recebemos do nosso cliente, o Sr Alexandre Norton Lages:

Here is the message that we also received from our client, Mr Alexandre Norton Lages:

Bom dia,

Fui vosso cliente no dia 16 de Março de 2011 por volta das 12:30 em Ponta Delgada na "Caça às Baleias". Disseram-me que agradeciam se enviasse fotos tiradas durante a excursão e por isso, venho fazê-lo, anexando as fotos neste email, mas como são varias terei de enviar em 2 emails. Esperam assim receber 2 emails. As fotos não estão muito bem focadas devido ao balanceamento da lancha, mas espero que vos seja util na mesma. Muitos Parabéns pelo vosso serviço, apesar do preço ligeiramente alto, saí satisfeito e recomendarei. Os melhores cumprimentos,

Alexandre Norton Lages

Agredecemos ao Sr. Alexandre Norton Lages por ter vindo fazer whale watching , e ter partilhado as suas fotos conosco.

We would like to thank Mr Alexandre Norton Lages for coming whale watching, and for sharing his photos with us.

One boat + loads of whales = whale watching exclusive

Today it happened again, the tour was wonderful. We were the only company and the only boat going out this morning. Roberto our vigia guided us south east and a bit outside Ponta Garça two big blows rose up high above the surface, baleen whales! A few seconds later we saw two more blows, four whales! By the high crescent shaped dorsal fin we could tell that they were Sei whales and we followed them as they headed off towards land. Three adults and one playful calf that breached. Quality time! And there were many Sei whales about, even on the way back we stopped several times halted by high blows, we actually had a hard time to keep up with the data entries.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lots of dolphins

Today has been a great day on the sea. The wind has finally dropped of and the sun has come out to give us great visibility. We have had great sightings during both our morning and afternoon tours. This morning we saw a large group of more than 100 common dolphins spread over a large area. Among this group we also spotted a small loggerhead turtle. A bit futher ofshore there was a nice group of bottlenose dolphins awaiting us. This group was very social and they approached our boats very closely. We got to see some nice jumping, tail slapping, and even mating behaviour. Here are some photos from the morning tour:

Bottlenose dolphin side-jumping

Bottlenose dolphins bowriding with our boats

During the afternoon tour just saw a few groups of common dolphins. However, it was another good show for us to watch. We got to see some great interactions between the dolphins. Whether they were fighting with each other or playing we are not sure. Here is one of the photos from the afternoon:

Common dolphins interacting

Futurismo at the University of the Azores

Yesterday Futurismo was invited to participate in the entrepreneurism class of the management and economics course at the University of the Azores. We presented information about our whale watching, jeep safaris, walking tours and other activities. We also covered the important subject of how we balance tourism with our research program and conservation. It was good to see a keen interest from the class of 40 students.

Monday, March 21, 2011

More happy passengers

Futurismo is always happy to receive feedback from our passengers. Earlier this month we had a group of German tourists who joined us for several walking tours around the island and a whale watching tour in which we saw a blue whale and common dolphins. Here is one of their blue whale photos which they have kindly shared with us:

On their blog they have described Futurismo as being very professional with dedicated staff and a smooth operation. Thank you Michael Brauckmann for sharing your experience and valuable feedback with us.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Humpback whales breaching in São Miguel!!!

This afternoon our passengers were treated to a once in a lifetime experience! We had two humpback whales in the area, and Futurismo was there to see it!! Humpback whales are not sighted very often in the Azores, so we were very excited to see them to them here in São Miguel. We are off to a very good start to the season with our sightings so far. São Miguel is the place to be for your whale watching experience!!

These photos from today show it all!! Our passengers described their tour with us as a "once in a lifetime experience". We are looking forward to sharing many more of such experiences this season.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lagoa do Fogo walking tour

Yesterday we had another full day walking tour with the same group of clients that we have been taking around during the past week. It´s been a pleasure showing them the different natural and cultural sites of São Miguel. Yesterday´s walking tour was to Lagoa do Fogo. The weather was a bit challanging at times, some might say four season in one day, but we all had high spirits and plenty of clear sky to enjoy the beautiful views along the way:

Friday, March 11, 2011

The sperm whales have returned to us!!!

Today was a very good whale watching day for Futurismo. After a long wait a group of sperm whales have returned to our waters. We found the group this morning, not to far from shore, and when we returned in the afternoon they were still there. The group was made up of several females with their calves, some of which we could instantly recognise from previous years. Throughout the whole day we saw a lot of magnificent tails as the whales went on their dives, and in the morning we were even treated to a breach (jumping out of the water) and some lobtailing (tail slapping on the water´s surface) from one individual. Those people that came on the morning tour also had an encounter with a friendly group of our resident bottlenose dolphins. Here are just a few photos from our sperm whales today:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Futurismo walking tours

The past few days it has been too rough to go to sea, but it has been ideal for us to carry on with our land based tours. Here are some photos taken of our recent walking tours with a nice group of German clients:

Salto do Prego walking tour
Salto do Prego waterfall Sete Cidades walking tour - view of the "blue lake"

Sete Cidades walk along the rim of the crater

Monday, March 7, 2011

Passenger photos from February

Here are some great photos that one of our passengers, Frank Albrecht has kindly shared with us. These pictures were taken on February 26th during our afternoon tour.

By comparing these photos to our catalogue of known individuals we are able to identify which individuals they are. Dolphins can be recognised by the marks on their dorsal fin, and in the case of the second dolphin photographed here, by the unsual shaped jaws. We are always very grateful when passengers share such photos with us, which help contribute to our valuable scientific research of marine species in the Azores. Thank you Frank Albrecht.

Friday, March 4, 2011

February sighting statistics

Unsettled sea conditions have allowed us to go out on only 8 days during the month of February. However, during this month´s tours we were still able to have succesful encounters with our resident common dolphins (delphinus delphis) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that stay in the area all year. In February we were also lucky to see beaked whales (Mesoplodon sp.) on two different days. This was a bonus as they are very elusive animals that are difficult to view and almost impossible to identify in the wild. During the coming months we are looking forward to more great encounters with the many species that visit our waters.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Today we are celebrating the feeling of Spring finally arriving here in the Azores. This became evident this morning, with the arrival of our first baleen whale of the season. It was just our luck that it was an adult blue whale, the biggest of them all! Our crew and passangers were all very excited when we got the call that our vigia (lookout) had spotted the blue whale off the coast of São Miguel Island. There is nothing like the excitement of watching such a magnificant creature coming up to the surface with a blow that can reach up to 12 m in height. Here is a photo that we managed to capture of the big blue:

The blue whale had an unusual shaped dorsal fin which is a usefull feature to use for matching to other blue whale photographs. This can enable us to learn more about the number of different blue whales that pass through the waters of the Azores, as well as their migration patterns. We just hope that this year we will have another great season in which we can see many baleen whale species passing by the island on their anual migration.

Today it was also another good day to see our resident common dolphins. Throughout our tour we encountered three groups of common dolphins which were all very interested in bow riding in front of our boats. So for us it was another great day of whale and dolphin watching here at Futurismo.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First encounter in March

Yesterday was too rough to go to sea, but this morning it had calmed down enough for us to take two boats out for the first tour of March. This time of year is usually a bit difficult for sightings, nonetheless we were lucky to encounter two groups of common dolphins. We saw various behaviours from these dolphins, and they showed enough interest in the boats for us to get a good look. As the month progresses we are waiting in anticipation for the return of the baleen whales that pass through the waters of the Azores during the spring months. Hopefully we don´t have to wait much longer.
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