First of all I would like to clarify that we do not offer the activity of swimming with dolphins commercially anymore. (For more information go here). However, we do some exceptions when we have closed groups, or boat charters with people all coming from the same background, so they understand that they are not going in the water at any cost.
Today was one of these exceptions. The group of Bottlenose Dolphins that the lookout found was very calm and even curious to swimmers. It was a great experience, beyond expectations. The guides could go in the water as well and we had a thrilling experience.
Once we finished the snorkeling activity, we were told that two Sei Whales were in the area, so we decided to do some whale watching too. And we found the mum-calf pair. When we arrived we spotted something funny, the dorsal fins of those “sei whales” were too tall and strongly falcate…
We knew that there is an overlap in morphology between Sei and Bryde’s whales, so we could not be sure. The surface sequence was also more Bryde-ish: no blow and dorsal fin shown at the same time, the way that the adult was arching the back when diving and showing more of the peduncle…
So I took the camera and zoomed in on the head of the whales. And the 3 ridges were there.
I was extremely happy as I had never seen Bryde’s Whales before –nor had swum with dolphins–, and it was the company’s first sighting since 2019, when we had seen one but very poorly. These two whales were very close to the boat, the calf even approached so much that we could record its shadow with the GoPro!
It was a wonderful morning, full of new experiences both for me, my colleague Coke, and our clients!
-Maria Serra from Azores Experiences