Friday, June 23, 2017

Resident, seasonal and migratory species today!!

Another day of sun and species of all seasons. In the morning we spot two giant fin whales and our friendly Mr Liable, a large sperm whale that has a special blow... totally different from all others sperm whales. In the distance we could see an area full of Cory's shearwaters that seemed to be feeding. We approach and we found two different species of dolphins... Atlantic spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins.
In the afternoon tour we could see Mr Liable again. We tried to see a fin whale that it was in the area but the animal was with feeding behavior so it was really complicated to see it. We tried our best but nature can be difficult sometimes.

Photos from today:

Fin Whale

Mr. Liable

Fin Whale

Mr. Liable's tail

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
 Mr Liable in the afternoon

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer is here!!!

It was the first day that we really felt the summer heat… and it seems that the animals felt the same. In the morning we had the best of both worlds...two species of dolphins and two species of whales. We started the day with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and we saw two Sperm Whales who showed us their tails. After the tails we moved to another area to see something bigger... Two Fin Whales!! On the way back, really close to the marina entrance, we found one group of Bottlenose Dolphins that belongs to our friend “Max”. In the afternoon trip we saw very well a Fin Whale and, in a really close area, we saw a spread group of Sperm Whales. We added one more species to the menu as we returned... Common Dolphins with a lot of babies. We hope summer will continue like this ;)

Fin Whale

Bottlenose Dolphins

Sperm Whale

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Sperm Whales

Sei Whales

Baby Common Dolphin

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First day of summer with six different species!

The first day of summer the four resident species were spotted. In the morning we found several sperm whales,  also small ones! Some of them were resting, while others showed the tail to go for a deep dive. We enjoyed as well with two fin whales, one bigger than the other, who stayed around our boats calmly. A nice group of common dolphins was found during our way back to Ponta Delgada, and of course, with lots of babies! One of our boats was lucky enough to see Risso´s dolphin too, and other boat Atlantic spotted dolphin as well.
In the afternoon, we started our trip with sperm whales, very shy and small ones, and then we moved to a bigger one, which we think it could be our well know Mr. Liable, even we couldn´t confirm it because we didn't see the tail, just shallow dives all the time. We saw again common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins, and even a loggerhead turtle!

Today we were pleased to receive a very nice gift made with plastic lids from a local school from Arrifes (Ponta Delgada, Açores). Thank you!

Photos from today:

Common dolphins 
Male sperm whale

The two fin whales of this morning (the left one is the smaller)

One of the fin whales

One of the bottlenose dolphin of this afternoon

Gift from a local school from Arrifes (Ponta Delgada)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Human Whatching

The Sperm Whales and the Common Dolphins were the stars today. In the morning trip it was a bit windier but we foud quickly our giant... MR. LIABLE!! As always, he showed his tail when he started his dive. We still managed to witness the breakfast of a large group of Common Dolphins and we also saw many babies. In the afternoon, to be possible to see Sperm Whales again, we had to travel a bit more... we went out of Ribeira Quente. We where then sighted by a group of Sperm Whales.. it’s not a mistake...They’re the ones watching us while doing “spy hopping”. On the way back to Ponta Delgada we found a really spread group of Common Dolphins and still a beautiful group of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins... What a wonderful Day!

 Mr. Liable!!

Baby Common Dolphin

Sperm Whale Blowhole

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mr Liable is back!

This morning we went out to enjoy a beautiful day with flat sea and the sun shining. We started the tour with a family of sperm whales, we saw about 5 of them in the area. One the sperm whales that we saw today is really well know for us: Mr Liable! The last time we saw this animal was last year, in November. We are really happy to have it back! Mr Liable is a big male sperm whale (at least 17 meters long) that we have seen around the Azores for many years. The first picture that we have from Mr Liable is from 2004, but it has been visiting São Miguel since before this time. It is possible to identify the individuals because of their tails, every tail is different (different shapes, scars, natural marks), just like a finger print!

To finished the morning we had a beautiful encounter with a group of bottlenose dolphins. It was the same group that we have seen for the last few days, Max's group! The sea was so calm that we could see the dolphing perfectly well... we could see the scars that they have and even some barnacles that are attached to their skin. Those barnacles are call pseudo-stalked barnacle (Xenobalanus globicipitis), they may look like parasites but they are not, they just use the dolphins as a free ride to filter the food.

In the afternoon tour we found the same species than in the morning, sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins. The sperm whales were more difficult to see, there were different animals in the area but all of them with the same behavior, doing swallow dives. The bottlenose dolphins, as usual, were curious and friendly  with our boats. What a beautiful day, we can not wait until tomorrow! :)

Photos from today:

Mr Liable!

 Another sperm whale

Sperm whale watching from the Catamaran

 pseudo-stalked barnacle in the dorsal fin of a bottlenose dolphin  (Xenobalanus globicipitis)

 Bottlenose dolphins

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Active fin whales, a family of sperm whales and dolphins

This morning we started out with 3 very active fin whales. In fact they were so active that we saw 2 of them breaching (jumping out of the water) several times! This is a very rare thing indeed for fin whales, since they are the second largest animals that have ever lived on earth, so their huge size makes jumping out of the water a very exhausting feat for them. We felt so lucky to see this, as well as seeing them rolling on their sides and showing part of their tails as well as their pectoral fins. It seemed to be courtship behaviour that we were witnessing. With these types of whales the males usually pursue the females, often at incredible speeds and with the types of behaviour we got to see. 

We also got to see a lot of dolphins today, as we often do. In the morning we encountered a nice social group of common dolphins on the way to the whales as well as the way back. There was also a group of bottlenose dolphins around for us to enjoy.

The next trip was amazing too; we share our afternoon with a family of sperm whales. The family was spread out in the area, we saw some of them logging at the surface and some others going for a deep dive. When the sperm whales go for a deep dive we see their tails out of the water, a moment that our client will never forget.

The dolphins were around in the afternoon tour, we saw the same species than in the morning. One more day we found the group of our old friend Max (the bottlenose dolphin that is missing part of the top jaw)

Photos from today:

Fin whale blow

Fin whale surfacing

Fin whale arching high

2 of the fin whales together

Fin whale on its side, lifting its pectoral fin and showing half of its tail

One of our zodiac boats with the fin whales

Watching the fin whales from aboard our catamaran

 The tail from one of the sperm whales

 Sperm whale at the surface

Another sperm whale going for a deep dive

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sei whales travelling!

The sei whales don't have time to lose, while they are migrating to the North, they are passing by around the Azores quite fast but always providing us good encounters. Today, we saw three of them in our tour in the morning and two more in the afternoon, all of them were with the same behavior: travelling. Last year we had one sighting in March, two in April, fifteen in June and five in July, making June the best month to see them. This year we had similar numbers in March, April and May, and, by now, five sightings in June so let's see if we can achieve the numbers from last year! It was not all about the whales today, we also had nice encounters with different groups of dolphins. In the morning we found common dolphins and in both tours we saw  bottlenose dolphins. The group of bottlenose dolphins that we saw is really well know for us, it was the pod of our old friend Max. The swimmers had really good encounters with the group of Max and we could also see a loggerhead turtle!

Photos from today:

Bottlenose dolphins next to our boats

A sei whale with a big dorsal fin

Our swimming with the dolphins boat with bottlenose dolphins

Max, the bottlenose dolphin that is missing part of the top jaw

Common dolphins surfacing

Two sei whales travelling together

 The blow from the sei whale

Sei whale at the surface

 School of fish next to the Portuguese man o'war

Loggerhead turtle

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