Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lots of dolphins and a baby whale

Today was a great day on the sea. In the morning we saw three species of dolphins: common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin and Atlantic spotted dolphin. It was like the ocean was full of dolphins everywhere and we went from group to group. Unfortunately there we couldn't find the whale that our lookout spotted early in the morning, even though we went to the area and searched. In the afternoon our lookout spotted sperm whales far, far to northwest, and we traveled for a long time before arriving to a mother whale with a new born baby. We also encountered common dolphins.

Photos from today:

Common dolphins

Spotted dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin

Sperm whale mother and baby

Sperm whale diving

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dolphin watching in the rain

Today was a rainy and slightly windy day. Nevertheless we encountered many dolphins throughout the day. In the morning we encountered 3 different species: common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins. The bottlenose dolphin group was the same one that we encountered yesterday, with a an individual that we recognise easily from its broken top jaw. The people who were standing in the front of our catamaran were lucky to get a great show as one of the dolphins was leaping very high out of the water, right in front of their faces. In the afternoon we came across some common dolphins right near Ponta Delgada, then from our catamaran we found some bottlenose dolphins again, just a bit further our. For those on our zodiac boat a large hammerhead shark was also spotted swimming at the surface.

Photos from today:

Loggerhead turtle hiding in the waves

Watching a dolphin "flying" in front of our catamaran

Bottlenose dolphin

Monday, July 28, 2014

Playful dolphins all day

Today we started the morning tour with a group of common dolphins near the coastline. Just a bit further out was a group of bottlenose dolphins. It was a group that we recognise, particularly one individual who is famous for its broken top jaw. We have been seeing this individual for many years and somehow it seems to be feeding well, despite this broken jaw (see photo below). In the afternoon we returned to sea with two of our zodiac boats and encountered another group of common dolphins followed by Atlantic spotted dolphins.

Photos from the morning:

Watching bottlenose dolphins

A well known bottlenose dolphin with a broken top jaw

Common dolphins

Photos from the afternoon:

Watching common dolphins

Watching bowriding dolphins in front of our zodiac

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A nice Sunday with dolphins

Today we enjoyed the company of some of our beautiful dolphins species in the Azores. In the morning we all encountered a large group of common dolphins near Ponta Delgada and our swimmers had the chance to see the under water. Later we searched further offshore for other marine life and one of our boats came across some striped dolphins while those on our catamaran found Atlantic spotted dolphins and also a hammerhead shark. In the afternoon we encountered an incredible group of bottlenose dolphins and our swimmers had were able to see them really well underwater. Nothing compares to the rewarding experience of seeing these amazing animals in their natural environment, especially when they are very curious as they were today. We also saw a loggerhead turtle in the middle of the group of dolphins as they were travelling past it.

Photos from the morning:

Atlantic spotted dolphins

This morning we saw some very spotted individuals!

A juvenile spotted dolphin that doesn't have spots yet

Common dolphins

Common dolphin

Common dolphin

Striped dolphins

Photos from the afternoon:

Bottlenose dolphins approaching our swimmers who are next to the boat

Bottlenose dolphins passing by our swimmers

Swimmers surrounded by bottlenose dolphins

Baby bottlenose

Loggerhead turtle

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A busy day

Today we had a very busy day full of activities. During the day we had our tours as usual and encountered two species of dolphins in the morning; the common dolphin and the Atlantic spotted dolphin. One of our boats also found a loggerhead turtleIn the afternoon we encountered different groups of playful and curious common dolphinsDuring the day we also had our catamaran present at the Red Bull Cliff diving that was taking place for the third year in a row at Vila Franca Islet. During this exciting event athletes jump off the high rocks (from a height of 27 m) of this extinct volcano into the ocean directly below. This busy day finished off with a sunset tour aboard our catamaran. We enjoyed the beautiful views of Ponta Delgada as the sun went down while our clients enjoyed food, music and dancing.

Photo from the whale watching:

Common dolphins

Photo from the sunset tour:

Ponta Delgada at sunset

Photo from Red Bull Cliff Diving:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wave riding with dolphins

Today, like yesterday we were able to go out only in the afternoon due to weather conditions restricting us in the morning. We had a sunny but slightly windy afternoon, having a fun ride over a choppy ocean full of dolphins. We encountered a nice group of about 50 bottlenose dolphins which we spent some time watching and some of us also had the chance to swim with them from our swimming boats. Some of even spotted a large loggerhead turtle among these dolphins. Just a bit further out were some common dolphins, but we quickly lost sight of them as they didn't seem to want our boats around. So instead of them we ended up with a group of about 30 Atlantic spotted dolphins. The group included many of the smallest dolphins the crew had seen in a long time. Very cute!

Photos from today:

Bottlenose dolphins (just like flipper!)

One of our boats riding the waves surrounded by bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins with a turtle in between (see the brown colour in the water)

Atlantic spotted dolphins

Atlantic spotted dolphins bowriding

Our zodiac for whale watching this afternoon

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A fun afternoon with sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins

Today we had a fun afternoon, riding the waves in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, in search of whales and dolphins. We had to cancel in the morning due to rain and bad visibility (this means we cannot find the animals because we spot them by sight). However, the afternoon was much better and we quickly found a group of bottlenose dolphins followed by sperm whales further to the East of São Miguel Island. The bottlenose dolphins were travelling in a group of about 50 individuals, including some calves. Our two swimming boats were with them and they were able to enjoy this nice group of dolphins from a different point of view - under water. The sperm whales were going on frequent shallow dives so they were not easy to approach and watch for long at the surface. With this kind or behaviour we had to be more patient than usual and had to also keep more distance. Respecting the animals and giving them the space they need is is very important. Luckily we all got to see the whales at the surface and at one time we watched 3 adults on the surface together. Some people who were a bit more observant also spotted a couple of loggerhead turtles at the surface.

Photos from today:

Bottlenose dolphin leaping

Peek a boo!

Sperm whale breathing

3 sperm whales at the surface together

An adventurous ride

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