Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 sighting statistics

November has been a month of amazing tours even though we haven't seen many species, it has been really good. It has not been a whale month but also a month of bad weather. In the beginning of the month we had false killer whales around and in the end of the month we had some real whales around. We sighted sperm whales families with breachings and flukes. Our lookout has also seen beaked whales (Mesoplodon sp.), a minke whale and a humpback whale but they were never sighted from our boats. Smaller dolphins, we have seen our residents: common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso's dolphins. Now we start feeling that winter is coming here in the Azores.

When it comes to other marine life the Cory's shearwaters has still been around, lots of juveniles learning how to fly, and some great shearwaters,  Bulwer's petrels, yellowlegged gulls and little egrets. We have started to see winter birds such as great skuas, great black-backed gull and kittiwakes, plus a storm petrel. We have also seen loggerhead turtles, flying fish and lots of mackerel and garfish that the common dolphins have been feeding on.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hello there!

Today we met our Bubblemaker and his family again and the sea was like silver. The bottlenose dolphins were playing around, bowriding and looking our clients in their eyes. Among the bottlenose dolphins we had one little common dolphin swimming around, but it was not alone, inshore there was a big group of common dolphins. We went searching for any other species but we couldn't find anything so we enjoyed the lovely coastline on the way back. 

Photos from today:

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Common dolphin

Friday, November 27, 2015

Breaching sperm whale day!

Today we went out on calm and sunny seas. It didn't take long and we were with a pod of 10 sperm whales including a young calf. One sperm whale approached our boat very close and said"hello" to our customers. And then it happened, a sperm whale breached three times for us!!! This is a behavior that we are not seeing very often, so we have been really very lucky today. We also saw a active feeding group of common dolphins that were also jumping a lot. One of our clients said:" We are getting a big show today".

Sperm Whale Breaching

Sperm Whale Breaching

Jumping Common dolphin 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Where to point the camera

When you have common dolphins jumping all around it is not easy to know where to point the camera to capture them. Once again common dolphins everywhere, feeding and jumping. In one group we also had a dark common dolphins, an individual missing the yellow colour. And we could see them feeding on both mackerel and garfish (or sea needle). Our lookout did spot a humpback whale as well but only saw it once and then it disappeared. And we could never find it nor the bottlenose dolphins. But the common dolphins never let us down and we got to see at least 3 loggerhead turtles.

Photos from today:

Common dolphin with a fish in its mouth

Common dolphin without the yellow colour

Dark common dolphin, compare the colour with the photo below

Common dolphin 

Our marine biologist Sara saving a small part of the ocean

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Searching for sperm whales

Our morning was pretty intense. The lookout found a blow of a whale. A SPERM WHALE!! Then we travel to the westernmost point of the Island but our friends (sperm whales) were very shy and not let themselves be seen. We try to find for a long time and finally we found a big blow from a big sperm whale. We sailed fast but when we are almost there we can only see its tail when it began its deep dive. When the sperm whale show the tail means that they begin their deep dive and can get about 45 minutes under water. After we found a big group of common dolphins and we had some good time with them.

Common Dolphins

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Whale search

Today we search for a small whale far to the west, most likely a minke whale, but we never had the luck to encounter the whale. We searched for a long time, and during the time of searching and hoping we had a large group of playful common dolphins around. We had already encountered common dolphin in the beginning of the tour, but they are always fun. We also spent some wonderful time with four bottlenose dolphins, "Lady" and three of her friends.

Photos from today:

Look at these beautiful colour patterns on this common dolphins beak

Bottlenose dolphin

Common dolphin

Common dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin, just because the water is wonderful in this photo

Bottlenose dolphin

Aboard our catamaran 4 Ventos watching common dolphins bowriding

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lets go fishing!

Today the common dolphins were everywhere and they were fishing. The common dolphins has a very good method for fishing, both good for them as they catch the fish but it creates a show for us as they jump a lot. The jumps are predictable but still we manage to catch some nice photos for our wonderful clients. We also got to see great skuas, Cory's shearwaters and yellowlegged gulls around the dolphins.

Photos from today:

Our biologist Sara explaining about the dolphins and 15 dolphin-experts left the boat today!

Great skua - a "winter bird"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dolphins and dolphins!

Today we had an amazing encounter with a group of bottlenose dolphins that we are very familiar with. It was the group of bubblemaker, a dolphin that always blows bubbles shortly before he surfaces. They were very acrobatic and did a couple of high jumps. We also came across a feeding group of common dolphins feeding along side many yellow legged gulls.

Yellow-legged gull

Bottlenose dolphin

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Searching for bigger

Today we had common dolphins around and we encountered some small groups but in our minds were always false killer whales as our lookout had briefly seen them in the morning. We search long and far but we never found them. But the common dolphins were the highlights this morning.

Photos from today:

Aboard our catamaran 4 Ventos

Friday, November 20, 2015

Classic company

Today we left the harbour in mist and with bad visibility and it was very difficult for our lookout to find animals for us. They did a great job fidning us a group of dolphins. Both in the morning and the afternoon we had some good time with common dolphins, a group of about 20-30 individuals. Our skipper Mario and the crew worked hard to give everybody a wonderful time on the sea. Our lookout also spotted bottlenose dolphins but we never had the luck to encounter them. In the morning we also released a Cory's shearwater out on the sea with its friends.

Photos of the common dolphins from today:

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