Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More Bryde's whales

Today we enjoyed the company of more Bryde's whales, again on a beautiful summers day. In the morning they were directly offshore from Ponta Delgada. Two adults travelling slowly and spending long periods of time at the surface. They were very calm and curious around our boats, so that we got to see them really well. Near the Bryde's whales there were also some beaked whales, which some of us got to see before these elusive animals went on a deep dive and were not seen again. They were thought to be Sowerby's beaked whales, one of the 6 beaked whale species we can see in the Azores. The morning tour was completed by a big group of our playful Atlantic spotted dolphins. As usual, the group included a lot of small baby dolphins and they were a real delight to watch. The afternoon was just as great as the morning. This time we encountered the two Bryde's whales from yesterday - the mother calf pair. They were very calm and often curious, and just like yesterday the calf was coming high out of the water so we could often see its eye. As in the morning, dolphins (this time common dolphins) completed the afternoon tour so that everyone went home happy.

Photos from the morning:

Bryde's whale rolling on its side, showing its pectoral fin and tail tip

Watching one of the Bryde's whales

Bryde's whale dorsal

Atlantic spotted dolphins

Atlantic spotted dolphins (mother and calf)

Photos from the afternoon:

Baby Bryde's whale surfacing high next to its mother

Bryde's whale mother and calf (notice the dark eye of the calf)

Watching the Bryde's whales from aboard our catamaran "Cetus"

Watching common dolphins

A big group of common dolphins

A beautiful common dolphin

An encounter with a Cory's shearwater

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Baby Bryde's whale

This morning we went out to find a lovely surprise - a very small baby Bryde's whale alongside its mother. This year we have been lucky to see a few of these rare whales that don't show up in the Azores every year, but it was our first baby Bryde's whale of the year. The mother and calf were very calm, spending long periods at the surface, and the calf was surfacing high so we could see its head very well out of the water. Our morning tour was completed by some lovely bottlenose dolphins and a huge and active group of Atlantic spotted dolphins from the catamaran Cetus and instead of Atlantic spotted dolphins we had a curious group of common dolphins on the catamaran Quatro Ventos. In the afternoon we found the same mother and calf of Bryde's whales and a big pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins at times behaving like striped dolphins porpoising, which means that they were swimming very fast, leaping flat out of the water. The water looked like boiling and there was always a part of the group out of the water.

Photos from today:

Bryde's whale calf surfacing alongside its mother

Bryde's whale calf surfacing high alongside its mother

Brydes whale calf (left side) and mother (right side, with a huge blow)

Adult Bryde's whale

Bottlenose dolphin face

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

Watching Atlantic spotted dolphins from the bow of our catamaran

Atlantic spotted dolphins

Common dolphins seen in the mornig from Quatro Ventos

Monday, August 14, 2017

Great summer day!

Today we enjoyed our day surrounded by dolphins and sperm whales. In the morning tour we went further east to find several sperm whales. Along the way we found a large group of bottlenose dolphins, and when we arrived, after a very short wait, we started to see sperm whales. Here and there, some blows and tails. At least four tails! While waiting for the sperm whales to come up, from our small boats we found a not very curious pod of striped dolphins. On the way back, we were delighted with a magnific group of Atlantic spotted dolphins, as well as hundreds of Cory's shearwaters flying around. Mirror like waters were amazing when we were with those dolphins. Also bottlenose were sighted when coming back, and common dolphins at least from the swimming boats! And just to let you know... amazing mantas this summer, this is the right time to come and enjoy! In the afternoon we went out again for whale watching and swimming with dolphin and we were not dissapointed by the huge groups of bottlenose dolphins waiting out there for us. It wasn't just one group, but two. Both groups were very active as they were socialising and curious. We got to see many very high jumps as they put on an amazing show.

Photos from today:

Sperm whale

Sperm whale fluking 
Atlantic spotted dolphins with Cory's shearwaters around

Atlantic spotted dolphin flying with Cory's shearwaters :) 
Bottlenose dolphins

Photos of the bottlenose dolphins in the afternoon:

Watching the bottlenose dolphins from aboard our catamaran

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jumping dolphins and a day with sperm whales

Today we had beautiful weather combined with some beautiful sightings, seeing three species on each tour! In the morning we saw common dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins and sperm whales. The water was very clear today meaning that we were able to see the dolphins amazingly even when they were underwater! In the afternoon we saw at least 500 Atlantic spotted dolphins, sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins. The Atlantic spotted dolphins were very active, leaping out of the water and body slapping to remove remoras – these are fish that attach themselves to the dolphin´s bodies with a large sucker that they have on their head. The dolphins jumping was a beautiful sight to witness. We also saw two sperm whales that showed their beautiful tails, and had a lucky glimpse of a sunfish!

Photos from today:

Delphinus delphis | Common dolphin

Physeter macrocephalus | Sperm whale

Physeter macrocephalus | Sperm whale

Stenella frontalis | Atlantic spotted dolphin

Stenella frontalis | Atlantic spotted dolphin

Photos from the aboard the catamaran Cetus:

Common dolphin

Watching common dolphins

Mating common dolphin

Four sperm whales seen together in the morning

Sperm whale dorsal 

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphins

Atlantic spotted dolphins

Playful common dolphin

Playful common dolphins

Approaching a sperm whale

Sperm whale diving

Atlantic spotted dolphins puting on a show

Juvenile Atlantic spotted dolphin

Adult Atlantic spotted dolphin
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