We had some rare visitors today!

What an exciting day is behind us! Our morning started very well, as we found a group of common dolphins just some minutes after leaving the marina. They seemed to be very curious, as they approached the boat and bow ride for the whole time of the sighting, giving us a perfect view of their beauty!

After we spent some time with them, we left the dolphins behind us with a new mission in our heads: find a new species that is enjoying the Azorean waters at this moment. It was not an easy task as the sea became very rough and, in this condition, it is very hard to recognize cetaceans. We were traveling for a long time, after we finally received information from our lookouts, that they saw some blows very close to our boats!

Not a lot of time passed until we saw them too! One, two, three… One, two, three, four, five blows one after another! At first, we thought that we found a big group of sperm whales. But as soon as they showed up on the sea surface again, we surprisedly found out that we had a group of northern bottlenose whales in front of us! What a special finding! It doesn’t happen very often, that we find these animals, but when it does, it is always a unique experience! For example, our most experienced skipper hasn’t seen them for over 3 years. They came to the surface every 10-15 minutes, impressed us with many big blows and just let us enjoy their presence. After some time, we had to go, as our tour was slowly coming to an end and we were still far from the marina, so we left the group with a big smile on our face, pleased with another beautiful tour in our beloved Azorean waters.

The sun kept doing us company throughout the afternoon and the light breeze from the morning turned into a gentle breeze. With the help of our lookouts, we were able to find a very active pod of around fifty bottlenose dolphins. The group was very spread and was composed of adults, juveniles, and calves. The sighting of these resident dolphins was very enthusiastic since they were doing several leaps, surfing the waves, and socializing (mating). This is actually the best time of the year to see dolphins mating as bottlenose pregnancies last around 12months, meaning that by mating now females will give birth next summer. They prefer the warm waters of the summer as it increases the survival chances of their babies. After some really nice time with the dolphins, we left the pod and came close to shore to look for other marine animals, no luck.

Finally, on the way back to the harbour we did a quick peek at the Vila Franca Islet where seabirds nest including Cory’s shearwaters, common terns and rock pigeons were also sighted.

In our zodiac boat we got to see a shark!

What an amazing day we had today. What is waiting for us tomorrow? Come and find out with us!

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