Monday, October 14, 2019

Baleen whales in October?

After a weekend not being able to go to the sea, the weather conditions gave us a break and today we were able to go out again.

We started the morning trip headed to an area where our lookouts observed a blow, but not a common blow in this time of the year since it was a baleen blow! How do we recognize a baleen blow? Because baleen whales have two blow holes on the top of the head so their blows are bigger and higher than of a sperm whale, which is a toothed whale and only has one blow hole. So when we arrived to this area we could see it was a Sei whale, the third biggest whale on the world! 

Then we went to another area but just 1 mile further when our lookouts spotted this time a sperm whale, but one well known by everybody…Mr Liable! 

A 17 meters male which is sighted regularly on São Miguel. In the way to our second area we observed some Atlantic spotted dolphins, but we didn’t stop because we needed to arrive to the sperm whale area so we could catch him before he dived for 45 minutes. So after Mr Liable showed his magnificent tail we went to see the dolphins. The water temperature is still warm enough for the Atlantic spotted dolphins to be here in the Azores so let’s enjoy them while they’re close to us.

And the afternoon started with bottlenose dolphins! 

Spread out over a large area, but beautiful to see, with plenty of scars! As from land they were not seeing any whale for a while, our boats went searching for them on different directions. We tried our hydrophone, but no sound around. Whales, if there, were silent! 

One of our lookouts saw from land a sperm whale breaching, but for the boats... Nothing. And suddenly, while looking for a supposed sei whale...a humpback whale! Yes!

 The last time we saw this species was the 29th of may. And in October? Not common at all! But being out in the ocean every day has this kind of reward... Six species in one autumn day in São Miguel!

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