Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Finishing the month with fin whales and dolphins

Today we finished the month with our most encountered whale species of the month - fin whales!
We had a lot of different fin whales around during the day and we got to see them really well, sometimes close to our boats when they became curious or surfaced close to us. It was a really great day out on the ocean, being able to show all our passengers the second largest animals in the world. In fact the whole month of May has been great, as we have seen whales on all of our tours, so we have a 100% success for seeing whales in May. Of course we cannot forget the dolphins who are always a lot of fun to watch. In the morning we had a nice social group of bottlenose dolphins that our swimmers got to enjoy underwater while the rest of us watched them from the boats. Our whale watchers also encountered common dolphins in the morning and in the afternoon our swimmers were with a really big group of them. 

Photos from today:

Fin whale surfacing

The blowholes from the fin whale

The blow from the fin whale

Common dolphin jumping

Nice group of common dolphins

Our catamaran Quatro Ventos

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spring day with fin whales, sperm whales and dolphins

Today we had a beautiful day, the sea was calm and full of life.

In the morning tour we started with the sightings of different groups of common dolphins, they were friendly approaching to the boats. One of our boats could also see a few bottlenose dolphins. After the dolphins we went to the "whale area" where we could see two fin whales that were surfacing really often.

After the fin whales we went to the area where our look-out saw a male sperm whale. It wasn't easy to see the animal... it went for a deep dive and it was diving for 70 minutes! On average, the sperm whales when they go for a deep dive they stay 45 minutes under the water but sometimes (like today) they can stay longer... Our catamaran Quatro Ventos could see the animal surfacing for a few minutes before going for a deep dive again, what a beautiful sighting!

In the afternoon we found fin whales again, they were about four in the area. Our boats for swimming with the dolphins also enjoy the company of common dolphins!

Photos from today:

Fin whale

Common dolphins mating

Yellow-legged gull chasing a Cory's shearwater with a fish

A baby blue shark

 Common dolphin leaping

Monday, May 29, 2017

A day with 7 cetacean species

Today we had some great surprises awaiting us out in the big blue. Both during the morning tour and the afternoon tour we encountered different whale and dolphin species, in fact we came across a total of 7 different species throughout the day! In the morning we started with common dolphins, then the zodiac boats went in search of a whale while those aboard our catamaran briefly came across a Risso's dolphin. We continued the search for whales and ended up all seeing them. From our catamaran we encountered a humpback whale close to Ponta Delgada that was a bit difficult to watch, but we were happy to see this species that we don't see often here. Those aboard our zodiac boat had another surprise, a fin whale! At the end of the morning we even came across a group of sperm whales, our fifth species for the morning. In the afternoon the zodiac boats found a lone bottlenose dolphin and then, all the boats went to the area where our lookouts had seen whale blows. They were three sei whales swimming together and appearing at the surface every few seconds. We haven't seen a lot of sei whales yet this year, so it was another nice surprise for us.  

Photos from today:

Humpback whale curving its back to dive

Fin whale blowholes

Sperm whale outside of Ponta Delgada

Sperm whale curving its back to dive

Sperm whale tail

Sei whale

Sei whales

Watching the sei whales from aboard our catamaran

Sei whales

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sperm whales today!

At this time of the year we often see more baleen whales than sperm whales, but they are always around and this morning we spotted them. They were feeding and showed us two tails! During the morning tour we also found a pod of common dolphins quite active. In the afternoon we sighted a shy group of Risso's dolphins, the third resident species in the day, but it was quick because our lookout had something else to see ... fin whales!

Photos from today:

One of the sperm whales tails this morning

Look at the rough back and dorsal fin of the sperm whale

Sperm whale about to go for a deep dive

Another fluke of sperm whale
Physeter macrocephalus | Sperm whale

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Balaenoptera physalus | Fin whale
Balaenoptera physalus | Fin whale with a Cory's shearwater

Friday, May 26, 2017

Curious fin whales and dolphins

It's been another fine morning out on the ocean, encountering the second largest animals in the world - fin whales. Today there were three fin whales travelling together, spending a lot of time at the surface so that we could see them very well. They were a bit playful, sometimes rolling over on their sides and at one time we even saw the white belly of one of them very well. They were very curious, coming to check out our different boats. The dolphins were just as playful and curious, as they often are. We had a large group of common dolphins spread out over a large area and they seemed to enjoy our company as much as we were enjoying theirs. We especially enjoyed seeing the small baby dolphins playing around in the waves. 

Photos from today:

One of the fin whales with our zodiac boat

Fin whale

Fin whale

Fin whale blow

Seeing a fin whale from aboard our catamaran

Fin whale rolling over, showing its white belly

Two fin whales side by side

A playful common dolphin

Common dolphins

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Friendly fin whales, calm blue whale and acrobatic bottlenose dolphins!

Today we had an amazing day full of whales. In our morning tour we saw a total of four different species. At first we had the indication of a big baleen whale, 6 miles south from Ponta Delgada, the blow was very big and tall so we suspect it was a blue whale; and we were right! A Blue whale was there, traveling very calm and doing very short dives; after that we went to see some fin whales; in our way some of the zodiac boats got the chance to spot a very big group of bottlenose dolphins; this ones were not a know family buy us; they were very playful, jumping and approaching our boat all the time. After, we went to see some fin whales; they approach the boats a lot; it passed even under one of our boats!
Our catamaran didn’t see the dolphins in the morning but found a nice group of common dolphins.
In the afternoon, there was no blue whale anymore but the sea was full of fin whales, we also saw another group of bottlenose dolphins, curiously this were two different families that we know very well; the Bubblemaker and the Egipcio’s. These groups normally are separate, but yesterday they were all together and curiously, very close to the shore. We had to be very careful we the boats as they were so close to the rocks!

Bottlenose dolphins were very active and acrobatic, jumping and playing a lot

Another dolphin jumping

Surfacing dolphin

In the group of dolphins we could fine al sizes and ages

In here we can see a Fin whale surfacing by its lef side, notice that is much darker

The giant blowholes of the Fin whale

The same Fin whale seen by the right side, in this case we can see lighter coloration (white color in the mouth)

Here we can see the blue whale, it was very calm and slowly traveling

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