Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 2012 sightings statistics

Last october we went out 12 days. The weather was crazy with several tropical storms and rainy and windy days all month. Nevertheless, we saw eight species around: three species of whales and five of dolphins. Not bad: 8 species in 12 days!!! The most amazing sithtings were the humpback, because they don't use to pass here very often, and the sperm whales together with the pilot whale

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A trip with two resident species of dolphins

Today we saw two species of resident dolphins. Firstly we were with several groups of common dolphins. Some of them were really calm, and some others were more active, feeding with Cory’s shearwaters flying around. Close to the shore, we saw three bottlenose dolphins. Those three individuals have been seen here for a long time, always together and separated from the rest of the bottlenose. To finish our trip we took a special passenger with us, a Cory’s shearwater with a broken wing. Hope it to get better.


 Common dolphin jumping

 Our passengers observing common dolphins playing under the bow.

Bottlenose dolphin

Friday, October 26, 2012

Our resident dolphins and a humpback whale again!

This morning we had a fantastic whale watching trip with our three resident dolphins (common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso’s dolphins) and a young humpback whale. We also went swimming with common dolphins. They were very calm, enjoying the sunny day and the flat water of today. In the afternoon we were with the Risso’s dolphins and the whale again. This time, the humpback was almost motionless under us! The humpback is a migratory species and they don’t use to pass here very often, but sometimes… they do. And we are there to prove it!! 

 Humpback whale under our boat

 Swimmers in the morning

Friday, October 19, 2012

Surprise encounter with a Humpback whale as well as Sperm whales and dolphins!

Today we had a surprise encounter with a juvenile humpback whale. This whale species is not sighted here on a regular basis and has not been sighted here since April 1st this year, so it was a bonus encounter. As well as this whale we encountered common dolphins and a well known group of sperm whales. Of the group we could identify two individuals; a whale we call "Orca" because of the grey saddle patch she has on her back (a bit like the saddle patch of an orca) and a whale we call "Small u" because of the small white u-shaped mark she has on the underside of her fluke.

Watching common dolphins from our catamaran

Common dolphin looking up at our catamaran

Sperm whale "Small u"

Sperm whale "Small u"

Our zodiac boat coming to join us

Sperm whale "Small u" diving

Sperm whale "Orca"

Saddle patch of sperm whale "Orca"

This sperm whale "Orca" also has marks around her blowhole

View from our catamaran

Sperm whale "Orca" diving

Sperm whale "Orca" diving

Juvenile humpback whale

Juvenile humpback whale

Juvenile humpback whale

Juvenile humpback whale

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sperm whales sighted, including a whale called "Piet"

Today is another sunny day in São Miguel and the morning started calm with a flat sea. The wind has increased now but before the sea got too rough we went out and had some great sperm whale encounters. It took a bit of patience waiting for the whales to return from their deep feeding dives, but in the end we were able to see two individuals (an adult and juvenile) very well. When the adult raised her tail to start another deep dive we got a photo and could identify her as "Piet", an individual that was named by one of our clients Doris Thomas. This whale has been seen in Pico Island as well as here in São Miguel over the past years.

Monday, October 15, 2012

More sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins

Today we started our tour with bottlenose dolphins again, the same group that we sighted and swam with yesterday. One of our boats also had an additional sighting of Risso's dolphins. As well as dolphins we also sighted sperm whales again today. It took a bit of patience waiting for one of the whales in the group to show a tail, but in the end we got one and it turned out to be a new individual that we have not photographed here before.

Bottlenose dolphin playing around the bow of our catamaran

Bottlenose dolphin

Sperm whale

Sperm whale

Sperm whale - view from our catamaran

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Whale watching and great swimming with bottlenose dolphins

Today we had whale watching in the morning and swimming with dolphins in the afternoon. Boat tours were really good with great sea conditions and many cetacean sightings. In the morning we sighted Atlantic spotted dolphins, a very social group of bottlenose dolphins and sperm whales. The sperm whale group was one that we recognise from previous years and we were able to identify two individuals from their tails.

See a video filmed from our catamaran, of a sperm whale diving here.

In the afternoon we swam with the bottlenose dolphins that we sighted in the morning. The dolphins were socialising and were very curious towards the swimmers in the water. All of us managed to get a really good look at the group of about 15 dolphins.

See underwater video footage of the swimming with dolphins here.

Photos from the morning whale watching:

Watching bottlenose dolphins from our catamaran

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Sperm whale

Sperm whale ("Pinkie" first photographed here October 2008)

Our zodiac boat

Watching a sperm whale from our catamaran

Sperm whale

Watching a sperm whale from our catamaran

Sperm whale ("Sumo Wrestler" first photographed here July 2010 and seen before with "Pinkie")

Photos from the afternoon swimming with dolphins:

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