Friday, February 28, 2014

A taste of the baleen whale season

Today we had three zodiacs leaving the marina for whale watching, and we started with common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Our lookout spotted the blows from humpback whales, and we searched and waited a long time but we never saw them from our boats, only the footprints (marks in the water from the fluke of the whale). In the afternoon we had both whale watching and swimming with dolphins, the swimmers had a lovely time with bottlenose dolphins and the whale watchers tried one more with the whales, this time fin whales or sei whales, but once again no luck. But the dolphins gave us another great afternoon. 

Photos from the morning:

Common dolphin

Common dolphins calf 

Bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves

Bottlenose dolphin face

Portuguese man-o-war

Cory's shearwater

Photos from the afternoon:

Common dolphin

Our swimming boat with bottlenose dolphins

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Video of bottlenose dolphins

Wonderful video of bottlenose dolphins from yesterday filmed by Louise Kelly, working with us this spring. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dolphin encounters - common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins

This morning we had some great dolphin encounters off São Miguel Island. Our first encounter was with a small group of common dolphins just outside Ponta Delgada marina where we have our base. Close to shore we encountered several more groups of common dolphins, mostly feeding together with seabirds on schools of horse mackerel at the surface. After some searching offshore we also came across a large group of bottlenose dolphins. The group was made up of about 80 individuals who were all travelling together in leaps above the surface. It was an impressive show that allowed us to see very well how large these incredible dolphins really are!

Video of the bottlenose dolphins today

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins and our zodiac "João Vigia"

Bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves
 Bottlenose dolphins 

  Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin with our zodiac boat
Normal coloured common dolphin

Dark common dolphin

Common dolphins feeding together

Bottlenose dolphins becoming airborne

Our zodiac "Alfredo baleeiro"

Fishing boat

Mackerel fishing

Yellowlegged gull - first winter plumage

Friday, February 21, 2014

Our dolphins know how to make us smile

Today we had a cloudy and cold day but that doesn't stop us from going out and see the animals. We didn't see any whales, the humpback whale from yesterday had left the area,. But we had dolphins enough for both guests and crew. We sighted both common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins.

Photos from today:

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Aboard Alfredo baleeiro, viewing João Vigia (our other zodiac today)

Bottlenose dolphin just surfacing

Four bottlenose dolphins surfacing just next to our boat

Common dolphin

Aboard Alfredo baleeiro

Aboard Alfredo baleeiro, further away is João Vigia 

Fishing boat

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Humpback whale and dolphins!

So, today we had a tour with a nice surprise: a humpback whale. We started of with common dolphins feeding close to fishing boats, and later we traveled east to see bottlenose dolphins. We didn't stay long with the dolphins as we heard that our lookout spotted a blow further out. We immediately went to the area of the mysterious blow and we didn't have to wait long before we saw a few blow and then a fluke, a bit far away from us. We just started to think that this whale might be down for a while when we heard the strong blow on our left side, very close to us, as the whale had swum under us and surfaces just next to us. And then we got our second fluke. 

I (Ida) was on this boat today, and this was my first humpback whale. I was so happy and so excited that all my whale photos turned blurry. So, this is what I have to share with you today. 

Humpback whale blow, note the white shadow in the water, it is the flipper (pectoral fin)

Humpback whale fluking

Humpback whale fluking

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin

One of the common dolphins that was around the fishing boats

Pulling out the mackerel

One of many great skuas today

Blacklegged kittiwake

Another one of many great skuas today

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