Our Third Quarantine Expedition – 17/5/20

It was a sunny day with a bit of swell. The lookouts have nothing at sight but we decided to go out and try to search the animals on our own but just when we were leaving the harbor one lookout calls saying that he’s seeing baleen whales in the South of Pico island. It is a Fin Whale. It stays around for a good amount of time which allows us to take several pictures of the animal.

After this first sighting we continue searching for more whales. Nothing so far, just a small group of Common dolphins with small calves, so we don’t stay long. We were moving to the South of Faial when the lookout calls us saying that he is seeing an other baleen whale appears: this time it is a Blue whale! The first thing that we spotted was a big tail but it came back to the surface. After 7 dives we leave the whale alone.

We move towards the South of Faial then, were we find a group of Sperm Whale females with two calves after following their clicking with the hydrophone.

We stay there for a while trying to take pictures of all the individuals of the pod for photo id and after that, we decide to go back to Horta. But along the way, we find one mixed group of Common and Striped dolphins, both species had a lot of juveniles.

These two species have very different behaviors in the Azores but sometimes they socialize and even mate. Striped dolphins swim fast as usually and leave the Common dolphins. As there is a lot of juveniles and calves, we leave soon too.

Finally, at 15.40h we arrive at the harbor after an other long journey: 60 miles!

-Maria from Azores Experiences.

Pictures and details by Marta from Azores Experiences.

Thanks to https://www.biosphere-expeditions.org and Lisa Steiner.

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