Thursday, August 31, 2017

Summer Day

Today we had an amazing day with perfect conditions! The sun was shining, the sea was calm and animals were around. All the boats had different trips today! In total we saw 5 different species, Bryde's Whales, Risso's Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins and Atlantic Spotted Dolphins ;) In the afternoon all the species were really active, playing and getting close to our boats.We saw 3 calm and curious Sei Whales and later on we continued our trip with several very nice groups of Common Dolphins playing and mating. Following our way back the small boat could see as well a group of Bottlenose Dolphins. Such a great summer day! 

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Tursiops truncatus | Bottlenose dolphin

Balaenoptera borealis | Sei whale

Balaenoptera borealis | Sei whale

Balaenoptera borealis | Sei whale

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A perfect summer day with plenty of whales, dolphins and other marine life

Today was the perfect day to enjoy being out on the ocean. The sky and water very both very clear blue and it was very calm so we could see the animals very well through the water. Throughout the day we encountered many different cetacean species among the different boats. In the morning we started with playful common dolphins and then continued far to the west to see two Bryde's whales (the mother and calf pair we have been seeing the past weeks. In the afternoon we had a mix of Bryde's whales and sei whales in the same area, so it was a bit tricky knowing which was which, as both species are very similar. We also encountered the beautiful common dolphins in the afternoon, and Atlantic spotted dolphins were seen from one of the boats. From our catamaran "Cetus" we had a beautiful encounter with a loggerhead turtle, and from one of the small boats a sicklefin devil ray, shark and blue marlin were also seen. What a perfect day out on the ocean!

Photos from today:

A beautiful day on São Miguel island

Common dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphin

One of the many baitballs of fish we saw through the water

An encounter with a Bryde's whale

Bryde's whale mother and calf

Bryde's whale mother and calf

Bryde's whale calf head

Loggerhead turtle

Another beautiful common dolphins

Our catamaran "Quatro ventos"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A family of sperm whales, Sei whale and dolphins!

Today the sea was plenty of life! In total, we saw 6 different species of cetaceans… what a huge biodiversity! In the morning we started with a group of common dolphins, the swimmers could enjoy to see them under the water. After the dolphins we had a beautiful encounter with a family of sperm whales, there was a newborn in the family, the baby sperm whales when they are born are already 4 meters in length but they look really small from the boat as we just see about 1/3 of the body length. In the same area than the sperm whales we enjoyed the company of the Atlantic spotted dolphins, they were really friendly with our boats bow riding! On the way back to Ponta Delgada we saw a resident species: the Risso’s dolphin, once again we could see some babies in the group (note the darker coloration that they have).
The afternoon tour was good too with the sighting of 4 different species. The common dolphins and the Atlantic spotted dolphins were around again but we could add two more for the list: bottlenose dolphins and a Sei whale. The group of bottlenose dolphins was small, with some young individuals. The Sei whale was travelling quite fast but we enjoyed blowing several times at the surface, is the third largest animal in the world and a migratory species that we usually see in spring time so we were really happy to see it! 

Photos from today:

Family of sperm whales

Risso's dolphin

Sei whale

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Shy sperm whales and dolphins

This morning sperm whales were a bit shy, as yesterday afternoon. Sometimes they are around, but for us they are not so easy to see!! Nature is like that... Today, we saw just some blows from one of our boats in the morning. In the afternoon a large piece of squid (sperm whale food) was seen on the surface, but we didn't actually see the sperm whales. But even though the whales were not great today, dolphins, they were. We saw a very nice group of Atlantic spotted dolphins, feeding under Cory's shearwaters and some common terns, and several schools of fish around! So definitely, a nice brunch for them, and also for another pod of common dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins, both adults and juveniles, joined us too in our morning trip. In the afternoon we re-encountered Atlantic spotted dolphins and common dolphins, making for another nice tour on this sunny day.

Photos from today:

Common dolphin

Common dolphin out of the water

Common tern (Sterna hirundo) flying

Atlantic spotted dolphin (notice the white nose!)

Young bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins with Ponta Delgada as background

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Whale and dolphin encounters

This morning our familiar Bryde's whale visitors (a mother and calf pair) were around again. They were in their usual location, outside of Ponta Delgada, and with their usual calm behaviour. We have been hoping to see the tail of the mother Bryde's whale, especially since the past two days she has been almost showing us, but still we gad no luck in seeing a tail. It felt like this morning she was really teasing us, curving her tail stock very high to almost raise the flukes out of the water. Nevertheless, we enjoyed a precious moment with the Bryde's whales, before continuing to see some dolphins. We encountered Atlantic spotted dolphins followed by common dolphins during the morning. As we often do with the dolphins, we got to see a lot of different types of behaviours, with a lot of jumps and wave surfing.

On our second tour in the afternoon we started with a nice group of bottlenose dolphins. They were very active and socialising, probably displaying courtship behaviour because we saw a lot of impressive high jumps. We also found a big feeding group of Atlantic spotted dolphins on this tour. Our vigias (onshore lookouts) had also been seeing sperm whales throughout the day, who were a bit elusive and hard to find from our boats...until the third tour. During our third tour in the late afternoon we got to enjoy our resident sperm whales, as well as the Bryde's whales again and also bottlenose dolphins and Atlanic spotted dolphins to complete this tour.

Photos from today:

Adult Bryde's whale - almost showing the tail

Bryde's whale adult and calf pair

Watching common dolphins

Playful bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin leaping to our boat

Great shearwater - an end of summer visitor

Friday, August 25, 2017

Bryde's and sperm whales

This morning the Bryde's whale mother and calf pair for the past two weeks joined us again. We got to have a nice look at these two visiting whales, before continuing on to see a large group of several hundred Atlantic spotted dolphins. In the afternoon we started with a large and active group of bottlenose dolphins. Shortly after one of our boats came across some sperm whales. So, it was a nice day in the company of two seasonal species in the morning and two resident species in the afternoon.

Photos from today:

Bryde's whale blow

Bryde's whale mother and calf pair (notice the small head of the calf on the right)

Adult Bryde's whale dorsal

A concentrated group of bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphin face

Watching dolphins from aboard our catamaran

Sperm whale back

Sperm whale going on a deep dive
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