Friday, December 15, 2017

Sperm Whales family

This cold morning we went out for a whale watching trip in our catamaran since the sea conditions were good. We started our trip with a nice pod of common dolphins. About 30 individuals all together and they were really active! They performed some bow ridding and some of them were even mating. We know this because they were belly with belly and performing some fast movements and splashing a lot. Other clue was the color of the belly (normally is white but when they are in contact each other became pink). We enjoyed them and we decided to continue our trip in order to do not disturb the dolphins. Good news from the lookout!! He spotted some blows near Vila Franca. After travelling a bit, we spotted the blows!! What a good surprise! Sperm whales!! In the beginning we spotted just one, but after some minutes: 3 adults and a calf! They were close each other but went for a shallow dive. While we were waiting them to surface again, we saw other blows! Another 5 individuals! We approached slowly and they went as well to a shallow dive. We finished the sighting spotting again the same 4 in the beginning and since we were really far away from Ponta Delgada we decided to leave the area and start our way back. Just before leaving, we tested our new brand hydro phone to check if there were more individuals coming from the bottom but since they were not performing clicks we were not allowed to listen to them.. It was really  good to see the sperm whales again! We missed them! 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Common and Risso's Dolphins

This week the weather is helping on our trips to the sea. We got the animals taking their breakfast! We have a small video of  the common dolphins feeding on a big fish ball, so be sure to pass to our facebook for a sneak peek. Today the dolphins were very busy and they did not give us much attention, the fish was abundant and they had to take advantage. We also saw Risso’sdolphins and, through our photo shoots, we were able to prove that they were the same as yesterday. They were constantly diving and changing direction, but we still managed to see them quite well. Fingers crossed for the next few days we will continue with these sea conditions.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Perfect day with perfect cetaceans

Today was one day to take our breath away. The sea conditions and the animals were amazing. The dolphins were full of energy! Common dolphins very curious close to our boat to get a good view of our clients. We went to a giant group of atlantic spotted dolphins that seemed to be looking for their breakfast (if you have time go to our facebook to see a small video), always jumping showing their agility. We also saw a large group of risso’s dolphins, very quiet, near fishing boats. To finish our trip we pass by our beautiful island of Vila Franca do Campo.

Common Dolphins

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

Risso dolphins close to the fisherman's boat

Risso Dolphin

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Whales and Dolphins over the rainbow

The wind began to blow from the north, getting a bit colder, but we had one day with lots of sun, rain and a beautiful rainbow! We begin with the most sighted species in our tours, the famous common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Once again we saw Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and although it is not normal to see them at this time of the year, lately we see them more than the previous years in the same season ...and with babbies! We continued to sail and suddenly, from our catamaran, we saw a big vertical blow right at our bow. We arrived to the area and a sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) appears, the third largest animal in the world. It was not a very easy whale to sight but in the end we can still saw it sometimes.

Juvenille of Atlantic spotted dolphin

A curious common dolphin

Sei Whale's dorsal fin

Adult (right) and juvenille (left) of Atlantic spotted dolphin

Blow of the sei whlale

Sei Whale

Adult and calf of Atlantic spotted dolphin

Sei Whale

Living Ponta Delgada

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Tourist of the sea during Winter

What is going on? This morning, after a week of bad weather, we went out to see some whales and dolphins and… unbelievable we found a nice huge group of the summer tourists of the Azorean waters, the Atlanticspotted dolphins. This specie, Stenella frontalis is sighted in summer when waters are warm and not in December like happened today. Another curiosity was that this group had some babies
which is not very normal. The Atlantic spotted dolphins normally come to the Azores around June, they reproduce, have their babies here (11 to 12 months of gestation) and then they go away, more or less, in November… so why are they still here? Could be that the waters are still warm enough for them due global warming, could it be something else…but something is going on.

Juvenille Atlantic Spotted Dolphin jumping

Big Jump

One More!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Common dolphins and a sei whale in the waves

This morning we had our first tour for the month of December. The swell was still high, but it was a nice sunny day, and most importantly we had cetaceans to see. We started the tour with a group of common dolphins. It was quite a large group of about 30 to 50 individuals and they were very active. The swell was like a playground for them, so the dolphins were surfing and leaping out of the waves. We could also see some feeding behaviour, with the seabirds taking advantage to dive down and grab some of the fish that the dolphins were corralling. Next we set off to try to find a whale in an area where our lookouts had seen a few blows. We were lucky, we didn't have to wait too long before we spotted a blow not far from our boat. We could follow the footprints left behind by the whale's tail at the surface, and several times we saw the blow again. It wasn't easy to see (nor photograph) much more than these blows, as the whale wasn't showing much of itself and was coming up for just one breath each time. Nevertheless we could see that it was a sei whale, the third largest animal in the world! It wasn't a bad way at all to start our December sightings.

Photos from today:

It was a wonderful sunny day

Common dolphins were very active on the surface

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 2017 sighting statistics

We are experiencing a quiet end to the month of November, with very few tours due the weather. However, the tours that we did have throughout the month were very good ones, and in total we encountered 9 different whale and dolphin species. Each tour was really different, with no particular species being sighted a lot more often than others. We had a few days with our resident sperm whales, a few with migratory sei whales and fin whales, a day with pilot whales and even an encounter with a humpback whale. Dolphins were also around in large numbers, including the Atlantic spotted dolphins who were probably enjoying the extended summer weather that we were lucky to have this year.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Rainbow Day :D

This morning started with a little bit of rain, but during the trip it stayed mostly dry and we even had some sun! First, we encountered some playful dolphins, the bottlenose dolphins that were swimming around the boat. They stayed around our boat for a while which gave us the opportunity to make some nice pictures. Afterwards we got information of the lookouts that there was a baleen whale in the area, a sei whale! However, the whale was playing hide and seek and after some time we had to cancel our search and had back to Ponta Delgada.
The afternoon trip started with some amazing weather (especially for this season) and with a lot of rainbows, which gave a beautiful effect. The dolphins enjoyed it too! We encountered the same group of dolphins as at the morning tour; bottlenose dolphins, although this time they were very active and even made some amazing jumps! After this amazing show we went further up south to find a sei whale that was spotted by our lookout. However, this individual was also good in the game hide and seek, which made it very difficult to find the animal. Again, we had to cancel our search and headed back to Ponta Delgada. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Risso's dolphins

This morning we went out for a whale watching trip in our catamaran Cetus! The conditions were not the best, we had some wind blowing strong from north-east and so the ocean was a bit ruff, still we tried our luck and it was worth it. We started the trip moving to the west of the island (in the south coast) looking for some dolphins that our lookout spotted before but after reaching the area we had no luck finding them. We decided then to leave and travel to the east part. When we passed by a fishing boat we saw some dorsal fins and..  a nice group of Risso's dolphins. Adults, sub-adults and even some juveniles all together and this time they were not shy at all. They passed quite close to our boat and we all saw the scars and how gorgeous this animals can be! Today only one species, but a speechless sighting. 

Photos from today:

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sei whales and Risso's dolphins

This morning we saw baleen whales again! They were sei whales, and we could confirm there were at least two of them in the area. It's been really nice this autumn season, we have been seeing quite a few sei whales and we hope that the sightings will continue like this throughout the winter. We also encountered a group of Risso's dolphins on our morning tour today. They were very nice to watch as they were staying up for long periods between their dives and they were very calm at the surface. It was another nice November tour to add to our other very successful ones this month.

Photos from today:

Risso's dolphin

Risso's dolphins

Sei whale dorsal

Sei whale surfacing
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