Monday, April 18, 2016

Blue whales, fin whales and four dolphin species

Our amazing whale and dolphin sightings are continuing, São Miguel is definitely the place to be this time of the year. In the morning we went out and encountered 4 of the 6 species our lookouts had spotted from the coastline. First we had some common dolphins followed by a group of Risso's dolphins which included two young ones that were easy to spot from their dark body colour compared to the much whiter adults. But around were also few striped dolphins. Next we went for the whales. The waves were a bit bigger offshore where the whales were, so we had a fun ride, travelling between the different blows that we were seeing. We don't know how many whales were in the area, but we did encounter at least one blue whale and a fin whale. Photography was difficult with the waves and unpredictable surfacings of the whales, but the important thing is that had had this great treat of seeing the two largest animals in the world!
In the afternoon we started with bottlenose dolphins, so six species encountered again today, and it was the lovely Bubblemaker with family. They were calm and curious and we spent a lot of time enjoying their company. But more curious animals were waiting for us. We encountered more or less 3-4 fin whales. They popped up everywhere so we spent time with many individuals, and many of them were curious and often swimming up to our boats (see video below).

Photos from this morning:

Blue whale coming up to breathe

Blue whale (not a great photo, but the best we got this time)

Fin whale

Fin whale curving its back to dive

Risso's dolphins - mother and calf pair

Risso's dolphin calf surfacing next to its mother

Risso's dolphins

Common dolphin

Video of one of many curious fin whales this afternoon

Photos from this afternoon of the fin whales:

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