Friday, February 27, 2015

Why do they jump?

Why do dolphins jump? There are many answers for that question. It could be to see whats going on above the surface (ex. groups birds which can indicate that there is fish around, look for boats or other dolphins), to get rid of parasites such as whale lice and remoras, males showing off their strength and agility to females but one thing is for sure: sometimes they jump just because its fun! And we got some nice jumps today from bottlenose dolphins very close to our boats. What joy!
We also encountered common dolphins and some of us on the catamaran also got to see a small loggerhead turtle before it dived.

Watching bottlenose dolphins

Common dolphins bowriding

Watching bottlenose dolphins bowriding

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fun with dolphins

Today was another dolphin day. We spent the morning in the company of a nice group of common dolphins. There were at least 30 dolphins in total, playing in the waves and often approaching our boat and diving underneath us. Another magical moment in the Azores.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Awesome wild dolphins

Today we had some fantastic encounters with wild dolphins in the Azores. We had clients swimming with common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins off one of our zodiac boats while the rest of us were enjoying the views of the dolphins from aboard our catamaran Cetus. As is often the case, the dolphins were very playful and curious towards us. We instantly recognised the group of bottlenose dolphins as recently we have encountered these particular ones regularly here along the south coast of São Miguel island. After searching offshore for a mystery whale blow that our lookout had spotted once (unfortunately we never found the whale but we had a nice ride) we came across a large group of striped dolphins on our way back in to shore. The group of about 50 dolphins was very energetic as they were "running" through the water. We spotted many tiny calves in this group, giving us a great end to our tour!

Video of the stripe dolphins "running"

Making eye contact with a curious bottlenose dolphin

"Bubbelmaker" in the front and a pale friend 

Swimming with bottlenose dolphins

Common dolphins

Cory's shearwaters are now every day in large numbers

Monday, February 23, 2015

Social dolphins

The dolphins of the Azores were very active and social this morning. During our tour out on the ocean we encountered two of our resident dolphin species: common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. They really brightened up the day for us with their curiosity, their wave surfing behaviour and the high vertical leaps in the case of the bottlenose dolphins.  Although we experienced a bit of drizzle throughout the morning the dolphins put a smile on all our faces.

 Common dolphins wave surfing

Hide and seek with a common dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins at play

A well known individual we have seen frequently over the past months
Each dolphin is individually identifiable by the unique pattern of marks on its dorsal fin 

 One of the rainbows of the morning

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Surrounded by dolphins

This morning we were greeted by 3 different dolphin species, starting just a few minutes into the tour outside Ponta Delgada harbour. The first appearance was a small group of common dolphins, followed by an even smaller group of striped dolphins. These ones were not interested in us, so we left them to their business and found more dolphins further west. We ended up having some nice encounters with more common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. We also spotted 3 loggerhead turtles, a Portuguese man-o-war and plenty of seabirds.

Common dolphins close to shore

Bottlenose dolphins

Portuguese man-o-war

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A common day with rainbows

What we call "a common day" is a day when we see "only" common dolphins. A day can be great with "only" common dolphins as its fun time with colorful and playful dolphins. Today in total we might have had 100 common dolphins out there on a wild sea and we sure got to taste the flavour of the Atlantic ocean. We encountered several different groups of common dolphins, some more going for bowriding, others making babies and some might even have been sleeping as they was laying very still at the surface, calm and resting. Some dolphins stayed in the front, connecting with our whale watchers and making eye contact.
Our birdlist today: yellowlegged gulls, great skua, Cory's shearwaters and a juvenile gannet flying right above us.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Springtime dolphins

Today we started our whale watching with a large group of striped dolphins acting as typical striped dolphins: leaping our of the water and changing direction all the time, and jumping high once in a while. Watching striped dolphins give us the feeling of dolphin party, maybe they know its Friday? Time to celebrate with energy and by jumping high! We mainly see these dolphins in spring time. We also encountered some residents; bottlenose dolphin which focused their energy on socializing and baby-making, and a calm group of common dolphins that was not really interested in us. We have been seeing a few Cory's shearwaters the last week as well but today we saw a flock of them sailing over the waves and also a great skua.

Striped dolphins

Watching striped dolphins

Striped dolphins

Hello from a bottlenose dolphin


Common dolphin

The ride back aboard our catamaran

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