The first trip WITH CUSTOMERS arrived on a sunny Sunday with flat sea. It was just a couple of them but as sea-lovers, we went out with other workers of the company. So everyone could enjoy. In general, the trip was very personal as there were few people on board.
The couple was very excited. After the usual briefing about information of the species and landscapes of the area, the lookout hadn’t found anything. So we did a little whale-waiting until the customers told us that they wanted to go out anyway despite the information we knew was only about dolphins.
Right after leaving the harbour, a group of Common Dolphins approached us. The group was full of calves, even newborns in which we could see the fetal folds! But they followed us for a while and performed several breaches. We didn’t stay long with them as we wanted to start the search for the Sperm whales with the hydrophone.
Along the way we found a Loggerhead sea-turtle, always good to see them as they are predators of the dangerous Portuguese Man O’war. We heard clicks at the second try with the hydrophone and as there were only 4 guests, they could listen to them too. Few minutes later, 3 Sperm whales surfaced at our starboard. We followed them and another whale surfaced, this time a calf, and a few minutes later, 2 more: a total of 6 Sperm whales, 2 of which were calves! The smallest one looked like it was nursing because of its behaviour.
Slowly, the 4 adults dived and the biggest calf shallow-dived. But the smallest whale was still at the surface. While we were waiting for those whales to come back, we found another Loggerhead sea-turtle.
We could see the pod once more, not all together but all the individuals in smaller groups. When they dived, it was time to leave. We drove following the Southern shoreline of Faial, stopping a few minutes in front of “Morro de Castelo Branco”, a small cape with a great cheese factory. We didn’t stop to get cheese but because the geology of the place, which Pedro explained carefully. Following the shoreline, we also visited the caves “Grutas de Furnas” and found another Loggerhead sea-turtle and a flying fish, which our customers found specially interesting.
At 13:05h we arrived at Horta after a 28 miles trip, full of Portuguese Man O’war (Caravelas), Cory’s shearwaters (Cagarros) and Common terns (Garajaus).
– Maria from Azores Experiences.
Pictures and details: Marta Riera from Azores Experiences.