With the month of October having come to an end, it is time to look back at the amazing sightings we had.
Although, given the weather conditions, we only managed to head out to sea for a total of 22 days, all of which in the southern coast, the experiences we had during our trips were nothing short of unforgettable! Not only was this fall month great for a chance to tick all of our resident species off of the checklist, it also allowed for the sighting of the seasonal Atlantic spotted dolphins, the elusive minke whale, and a surprisingly high chance for the second largest animal in the world, the fin whale!
Starting with our smallest resident, the common dolphin, this species was sighted in a whopping 95% of our trips! With a clear preference for areas relatively close to our island’s shore, the sightings of this species created wonderful scenarios for our boats, which found themselves surrounded by colorful dolphins and a beautiful volcanic setting in the background.
Despite being a species that we mostly associate with our warm summer months, over this October we still managed to sight Atlantic spotted dolphins for a total of 90% of our travels. Certainly a great opportunity for any dolphin lover out there, as this does mean that, even though we are getting closer to Winter, our waters are still warm enough to invite this extremely small, yet unbelievably energetic, cetacean species to stay here for a bit longer, before heading down to lower latitudes.
Without the need for an introduction, sperm whales were also frequently present during our trips, with one calf presenting us with a show of jumping prowess. When sea conditions are not the best for these animals to communicate through their conventional means, they often resort to these displays, which might look athletic at a glance, but are, for the most part, a means of splashing and creating as much sound as possible in order to allow for other individuals of the same species to be aware of their presence. During this month we were even able to see our shy Risso’s dolphins, as well as pods made up of very large bottlenose dolphins!
Lately, and certainly a highlight, this month was even one where the sighting of baleen whales was plenty! Aside from a few events during which a minke whale was spotted by our boats, we were lucky enough to observe a pair of massive fin whales that stuck around our island for long enough to allow us to find them in 30% of our trips! The inexplicably jaw-dropping experience that is to see the world’s second largest animal during the month of October is one that will be ingrained in our customer’s memories for years to come. October was, without a doubt, a testimony to the fact that there is never a right time to go for a whale watching trip in the Azores, for any time can be the right, and perfect, time!