Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye 2017!

Last day of the year and last dolphins of the year! The year of 2017 says goodbye with a lot of cold but with a lot of sun too. After some time traveling we found a very big group of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), our most encountered specie. We continued and found some risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus) that were with a typical behavior, very shy and just observing the boat from a distance. It was a very a very good farewell of 2017. Let’s see what the year of 2018 reserve us! Happy New Year!

Common dolphin coming out of the water

Common dolphin jumping

Risso's dolphin

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Tipical winter day, but sunny

Today we woke up with a beautiful sunny day here in Ponta Delgada, we had a very nice trip in wich we managed to find two groups of our two most seen by our company; a group of the nice and social common dolphins and in the end, a big group of bottlenose dolphins.
A very refreshing tour full of laughs and energy.

In our catamaran we could ear some sperm whale in our hidrophone, wich is always exiting but sadly we didn't manage to find them

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Common dolphins and a calm sea!

What a nice morning conditions! Sunny day at calm sea.. This morning we went for whale watching trip in a zodiac. After leaving the harbour, the lookout spotted some dolphins but they were moving fast and he was not able to spot them anymore. Still we moved to the area were he saw for the last time the dolphins but.. no signal of them! Time to use the hydrophone! After listening several times, it was possible to ear some whistles. We decided then to move the same direction the sound came from but no lucky as well.. Suddenly our lookout saw some dorsals fins and when we approached them they received us quite well! A small group of common dolphins spread out and moving fast. After a small period with them they became calm and was a nice sighting. No doubt it was such a wonderful morning before Christmas.

Friday, December 22, 2017

It's feeding time!!

Today the sea conditions were not perfect but nothing that prevented us from going out to visit our common dolphin friends. They were feeding together with a large group of seagulls. We tried to listen to them with the hydrophone, but it was not possible to hear them. As we had already seen them well we set out on the adventure in search of new species. As we advanced, we stopped and we tried the hydrophone, but nothing... absolute silence! Today or they were shy and they were not communicating or they were too far away and we could not detect them.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hello Winter

Three days without going to the sea but today was the day that we went back, FINALLY! We started to sail towards the west point of the island (Mosteiros) and we found a small group of common dolphin (delphinus delphis), they were not a lot but they were a very nice and curious group. We continued our trip and we received a message via radio from the lookout saying that there was a sperm whale in the area. We tried to use the hydrophone and we actually could hear it twice doing the echolocation (click sounds) but unfortunately, after some time looking for the animal, we didn’t found it … wildlife is always very unpredictable.

Common Dolphin

Black-headed gull

Great Skua

Common Dolphin

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sperm Whales family

This cold morning we went out for a whale watching trip in our catamaran since the sea conditions were good. We started our trip with a nice pod of common dolphins. About 30 individuals all together and they were really active! They performed some bow ridding and some of them were even mating. We know this because they were belly with belly and performing some fast movements and splashing a lot. Other clue was the color of the belly (normally is white but when they are in contact each other became pink). We enjoyed them and we decided to continue our trip in order to do not disturb the dolphins. Good news from the lookout!! He spotted some blows near Vila Franca. After travelling a bit, we spotted the blows!! What a good surprise! Sperm whales!! In the beginning we spotted just one, but after some minutes: 3 adults and a calf! They were close each other but went for a shallow dive. While we were waiting them to surface again, we saw other blows! Another 5 individuals! We approached slowly and they went as well to a shallow dive. We finished the sighting spotting again the same 4 in the beginning and since we were really far away from Ponta Delgada we decided to leave the area and start our way back. Just before leaving, we tested our new brand hydro phone to check if there were more individuals coming from the bottom but since they were not performing clicks we were not allowed to listen to them.. It was really  good to see the sperm whales again! We missed them! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Common and Risso's Dolphins

This week the weather is helping on our trips to the sea. We got the animals taking their breakfast! We have a small video of  the common dolphins feeding on a big fish ball, so be sure to pass to our facebook for a sneak peek. Today the dolphins were very busy and they did not give us much attention, the fish was abundant and they had to take advantage. We also saw Risso’sdolphins and, through our photo shoots, we were able to prove that they were the same as yesterday. They were constantly diving and changing direction, but we still managed to see them quite well. Fingers crossed for the next few days we will continue with these sea conditions.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Perfect day with perfect cetaceans

Today was one day to take our breath away. The sea conditions and the animals were amazing. The dolphins were full of energy! Common dolphins very curious close to our boat to get a good view of our clients. We went to a giant group of atlantic spotted dolphins that seemed to be looking for their breakfast (if you have time go to our facebook to see a small video), always jumping showing their agility. We also saw a large group of risso’s dolphins, very quiet, near fishing boats. To finish our trip we pass by our beautiful island of Vila Franca do Campo.

Common Dolphins

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Risso dolphins close to the fisherman's boat

Risso Dolphin

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Whales and Dolphins over the rainbow

The wind began to blow from the north, getting a bit colder, but we had one day with lots of sun, rain and a beautiful rainbow! We begin with the most sighted species in our tours, the famous common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Once again we saw Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and although it is not normal to see them at this time of the year, lately we see them more than the previous years in the same season ...and with babbies! We continued to sail and suddenly, from our catamaran, we saw a big vertical blow right at our bow. We arrived to the area and a sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) appears, the third largest animal in the world. It was not a very easy whale to sight but in the end we can still saw it sometimes.

Juvenille of Atlantic spotted dolphin

A curious common dolphin

Sei Whale's dorsal fin

Adult (right) and juvenille (left) of Atlantic spotted dolphin

Blow of the sei whlale

Sei Whale

Adult and calf of Atlantic spotted dolphin

Sei Whale

Living Ponta Delgada

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Tourist of the sea during Winter

What is going on? This morning, after a week of bad weather, we went out to see some whales and dolphins and… unbelievable we found a nice huge group of the summer tourists of the Azorean waters, the Atlanticspotted dolphins. This specie, Stenella frontalis is sighted in summer when waters are warm and not in December like happened today. Another curiosity was that this group had some babies
which is not very normal. The Atlantic spotted dolphins normally come to the Azores around June, they reproduce, have their babies here (11 to 12 months of gestation) and then they go away, more or less, in November… so why are they still here? Could be that the waters are still warm enough for them due global warming, could it be something else…but something is going on.

Juvenille Atlantic Spotted Dolphin jumping

Big Jump

One More!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Common dolphins and a sei whale in the waves

This morning we had our first tour for the month of December. The swell was still high, but it was a nice sunny day, and most importantly we had cetaceans to see. We started the tour with a group of common dolphins. It was quite a large group of about 30 to 50 individuals and they were very active. The swell was like a playground for them, so the dolphins were surfing and leaping out of the waves. We could also see some feeding behaviour, with the seabirds taking advantage to dive down and grab some of the fish that the dolphins were corralling. Next we set off to try to find a whale in an area where our lookouts had seen a few blows. We were lucky, we didn't have to wait too long before we spotted a blow not far from our boat. We could follow the footprints left behind by the whale's tail at the surface, and several times we saw the blow again. It wasn't easy to see (nor photograph) much more than these blows, as the whale wasn't showing much of itself and was coming up for just one breath each time. Nevertheless we could see that it was a sei whale, the third largest animal in the world! It wasn't a bad way at all to start our December sightings.

Photos from today:

It was a wonderful sunny day

Common dolphins were very active on the surface

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