After a long rainy autumn week at sea, today we were delighted with a great spring like day. Instead of rain at sight we had a shiny sun smiling at us.
We left Ponta Delgada with a special guest on board – a cory’s shearwater juvenile that was found lost last night on a road near Vila Franca do Campo. Seventy-five percent of the cory’s shearwater world population comes to the Azores to breed. It is a marine bird that lives most of its time at sea, coming only on land to nest. And now, October, it’s the time that the juveniles leave their nest to start their journey to the wide-open ocean. Who knows which is their destination! Cory’s shearwaters can decide to stay here on the North of the Atlantic Ocean, but can also decide to go to the Pacific and Indian Oceans. What a long way to go! Most of them though go to the South of the Atlantic Ocean.
Due to the artificial lights on land, juveniles can get confused and lost and because their body is not designed to walk on land, they are not able to take off from there again. Therefore, since 1995 there is a campaign running called SOS Cagarro by DRAM, that aims to help the juveniles to get back to see. If you find a lost one please call 00351 800 292 800, however you can do more than that and volunteer for the campaign by SPEA until the 30th of October. Here you can register if you like to join: https://forms.gle/SB2yxX1aYDmsUAkK9
What s wonderful moment to see a life journey start, another life was saved! This little big guy flew away and joined the other cory’s shearwaters at sea.
Besides this amazing release, we saw two of the most sighted species of dolphins. Bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). We can see them almost every day, but we never get fed up!!! Both resident species here in the Azores, and both very different. While the oceanic bottlenose dolphins reach a length of 4m, are bulky and dark grey in coloration, common dolphins have a maximum of 2.7m in length, are much slender and have a beautiful light grey and yellow pattern on the sides that characterises this species. Did you know that there are two types of bottlenose dolphins? The oceanic and coastal ones. The difference: the coastal are smaller and have a lighter grey coloration. And you know what? Actually, the oceanic ones can also be found close to coast!
But this isn’t everything. Today was a day full of special sightings and experiences. Not very common at this time of the year, we also found a Portuguese Man of War.
On our way back we had the pleasure of contemplating the beautiful coast of São Miguel island and all its volcanic origins. We can definitely go back in time and have amazing insights into the past of the island!!!
Fancy an experience like this? Do you want to become an ocean explorer? Come and join us on our trips and learn about the amazing waters of the Azores!!!