Monday, September 30, 2013

September 2013 sighting statistics

This month we have had great sightings of seven different species of cetaceans, including our four resident species: sperm whale, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and Risso's dolphin. We had one day of beaked whales, a sighting of striped dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins almost everyday reminding us that summer is yet not over. Other than cetaceans (whales and dolphins) we have had encounters with a few sharks as well, both hammerhead shark and a whale shark, several species of tuna hunting togteher with the dolphins, loggerhead turtles, devil rays and seabirds like Cory's shearwaters, great shearwatersManx shearwaters, yellow-legged gulls and great black-backed gulls and of course lots of flying fish.

Map of our cetacean sightings

Spotted dolphins and a rough sea

Every day we provide photos from our tours of the species that we encounter and sometimes of the boats, guests and the landscape. Unfortunately today the crew didn't take any photos. We only went out in the morning with our catamaran "Cetus" and we had a rough and wet tour. We did encounter an amazing group of Atlantic spotted dolphins and they were having a splendid time in the waves while we onboard were getting soaked. But we had a splendid time as well :)

p.s. the crew is still drying :P

The name of the species sighted today in other languages:
Italian: Stenella maculata atlantica, Stenella frontalis
German: Fleckendelfin, Zügeldelfin
Dutch: Atlantische gevlekte dolfijn
Danish: Atlantisk plettet delfin

Finnish: Atlantintäplädelfiini

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The dolphins surprise in the mist

Today, in the morning, we had a bit of a wait before our vigia gave us confirmation of our tour. The weather forecast predicted bad sea conditions and we had poor visibility. Despite these predictions we went to the sea to end up with a summer-like sea with some patches of blue sky. Even better than these good weather conditions were the dolphins who delighted everyone with their sheer numbers and behavior. In total we spotted four species of dolphins: common dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and Risso's dolphin! This last species is known for its shy nature and this is the fourth time that we encountered them this month. Also, from our catamaran we spotted a loggerhead turtle. In the afternoon we resighted all the dolphin species except the Risso's dolphin. In the end of the tour our skipper found a huge feeding ground of spotted dolphins, Cory's shearwater, great shearwater, Manx shearwater, yellowlegged gull and great black-backed seagull.

Photos from today:

Common dolphins

Spotted dolphins, one up-side-down and playing around

A spotted dolphin jumping

Risso's dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Common dolphins

Cory's shearwater, yellow-legged gull and black-backed gull

Yellowlegged seagull juvenile checking out the open mouth of a spotted dolphin

 This is what we call a feeding frenzy!

A Cory's shearwater picks a mackerel off the surface

Juvenile gull biting the head of a Cory's shearwater

Friday, September 27, 2013

Winter might be just around the corner but our whale and dolphin watching continues with succes in São Miguel Island, Azores. After 3 days confined to land today we were able to return to the sea and we had some great encounters with the cetaceans of the Azores. Today we encountered groups of common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. It is not as warm as it used to be, but we can notice that the waters of the Azores ares still teeming with life. As well as the hundreds of dolphins today we also sighted many seabirds including the Cory's shearwater, great shearwater, common terns, yellow-legged gulls, a Manx shearwater in the afternoon and an Azorean buzzard in the morning (on Vila Franca Islet). In the morning each of our observation boats also saw 3 loggerhead turtles.

Photos from today:

A playful bottlenose dolphin

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphin near Vila Franca

Aboard our catamaran "Cetus"

A tight group of common dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin face

Dolphin kiss

Bottlenose dolphin racing with our zodiac in the afternoon

Monday, September 23, 2013

Surfing dolphins

Today we have many dolphins in the area. The morning started with several groups of common dolphins very close to Ponta Delgada. One of the groups had a few bottlenose dolphins hidden among the common dolphins. Further to the west we encountered a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins leaping out of the waves. In the afternoon we resighted the common dolphins with the bottlenose dolphins and the two species were feeding together. Photos from today:

Common dolphin

A common dolphin playing around in the waves

Bottlenose dolphin (larger individual in the middle) surfing a wave with common dolphins

Spotted dolphins

A spotted dolphin playing around "Song of Whales"

Enjoying the São Miguel coastline from aboard our catamaran "Cetus"

A beautiful day in Ponta Delgada upon our return to the marina

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunset boat cruise in the Azores with Futurismo

Futurismo's sunset cruises aboard our catamaran "Cetus" are an excellent way to view the beautiful rugged coastlines of São Miguel Island and watch the sun set over the ocean horizon in the middle of the Atlantic. During the past weeks we have had several of these tours along different parts of the south coast of São Miguel Island, such as Vila Franca Islet, Rocha da Relva and Mosteiros. This time of the year we giver our clients the chance to go for a swim before the sun goes down as at the moment the water is still about 23ºC. We also offer music aboard and refreshments of Azorean foods and wine. During the past weeks we have been watching the changes in the moon phases and occasionally we were also lucky to encounter groups of dolphins and many Cory's shearwaters as they return to their nests on the coastline in the evenings. Following are some of our photos from our sunset tours this year:



 Rocha da Relva

Azorean buzzard over Vila Franca Islet


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