Sunday, July 13, 2014

Valentina, Tonga and their friends

Today was another sperm whale day. Not far from Ponta Delgada there was a group of sperm whales that we encountered during both the morning and afernoon tours. Throughout the day we photographed and identified several individuals that we recognise as we have seen them here in previous years and they are in our photo-ID catalogues. In the morning we identified 3 individuals who are numbers 40, 50 and 86 in our catalogue. The last individual encountered has the nickname "Valentina" in our catalogue. All of the whale we identified today have been encountered together previously, which is common as sperm whales are very social animals that spend their lives together groups. In the afternoon we encountered several more individuals and we could instantly recognise one as number 150 (nickname Tonga) from our catalogue. As is the case on most days we also encountered dolphins throughout the day. In the morning we encountered our resident bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins as well as the seasonal Atlantic spotted dolphins. In the afternoon we encountered a small but playful group of common dolphins. Those aboard our zodiac boat in the afternoon also encountered a loggerhead turtle.

Photos from this morning:

Adult and juvenile sperm whale diving together

A sperm whale called Valentina

A playful bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Enjoying front row seats on our catamaran

Photos from this afternoon:

Sperm whale blowhole (located on the left tip of the head)

High tail!

A whale called Tonga diving alongside a juvenile

Watching a sperm whale from aboard our zodiac

Common dolphin

Loggerhead turtle

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