Thank you August, you’re leaving us with a good taste in the mouth!
This month has been marked by many unforgettable moments. Eleven different species and more than 180 sightings, although it looks easy… believe us, is not!
The good weather and the rising temperatures have made the Atlantic spotted dolphins take the gold this month. We have been able to see these summer visitors in almost all the trips we have made, in large groups with individuals of all ages, filling the sea with their characteristic bodies full of spots.
But August has also been full of tails, with silver going to our biggest residents, the sperm whales. We have experienced some very special moments with these toothed whales, such as watching a mother teaching her calf to dive, or seeing old colleagues like Mr. Liable (the most sighted male in the Azores, possible resident of the archipelago) both on the north coast and on the south coast of the island of San Miguel. Thanks to our photo-identification work we have been able to confirm that several of the animals sighted this summer were part of our catalogue. This means is not the first time we have seen them here in the Azores. The north of the island has once again established itself as the star territory for sperm whales, leaving us with some of the most striking images of the month.
The bronze medal is shared by common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Two resident species, which tend to be very curious with our boats. This August we have been able to see how the groups of these species are in good health, as we have met the new generations, calves and newborns everywhere!
To be able to see how the groups are full of calves, shows us that the populations in the Azorean Sea are thriving and gives us hope for a future in which no cetacean species is in danger of extinction. It is up to all of us to fulfill that dream, and we will do our best to make it happen and to continue to show you the wonderful life that the North Atlantic shelters.
Baleen whales have also made their presence felt and in August we were lucky enough to see two different species: Sei whale and Bryde’s whale. On several of our trips we saw these animals feeding along with other cetaceans and seabirds, images worthy of documentaries.
Moreover, not everything has been cetaceans, during this month of August we have also been able to enjoy unique sightings with other animals such as: devil ray, sharks, turtles and the biggest fish in the world, the elegant whale shark, which arrived at the end of the month and we hope to see again this September.
There have been also visits from Risso’s dolphins, pilot whales, striped dolphins and the enigmatic beaked whales. But, without a doubt, the highlight of this month has been to be able to see the rough toothed dolphins, after more than 10 years. A very special sighting for the whole team, the first encounter for some of us with these animals. Although it has only been once, these kinds of surprises motivate us to continue going out to sea every day, and revalue all the effort we make to continue learning more about marine mammals.
September here we go! See you in the blue!