What a amazing year 2018, we found 18 different species!
As always, our residents set the record 😉 The only ones left behind were the Risso´s dolphins that were sighted less often than the Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and the Fin Whales.
The award this year goes to our friends Bottlenose Dolphins, which were present in about 65.2% of our tours, followed by the Common Dolphins with a rate of 57%. In the third place, we have our Sperm Whales, the largest animal in the world with teeth.
The migratory whales began their tours to São Miguel in January, but started to appear almost every day at the end of March, with many sightings of Fin Whales.
It was also a very good year for Blue Whales. They have kept up with the Fin Whales since the end of April, appearing for the last time in the middle of June. These large baleen whales usually pass through the Azores when the water is colder and when they start moving North (during Spring time). In June, the Humpback Whales were really present, always very close to the coast and with plenty of activity. The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins arrived at the beginning of June, but this year they chose to be further away from the shore. They probably had more food available far away from the coast.
This year, we also saw some very shy species like the famous beaked whales. We were able to see the Sowerby's Beaked Whale, Blainville´s and Northern Bottlenose Whale. We can not forget to mention a very special visit in May: we saw a family of Orcas! But it happened only one morning. 😔
We did not see just whales and dolphins, we saw many flying fishes and a lot of different species of shearwaters.
This year, we had a lot of tours on the North Coast, which gave us a better insight into what is going on around our island. If you pay attention to the maps, there is only a small part of the ocean around the island that does not receive so many visits from our boats. Who knows if 2019 will be the year that we will understand what is going on there?