The Largest Fluke – 9/4/21

2021 whale watching season has finally arrived –with some difficulties– but plenty of enthusiasm and energy. Baleen whale season is already hitting the archipelago of the Azores, meaning that Blue and Fin whales are being seen this past weeks, together with the resident Sperm whales and several species of dolphins. However, since the baleen whale season only lasts 2-3 months, in April and May we look forward to find as many Blue and Fin Whales as we can.

So, there we were, meeting our passengers at our base on Friday morning. And for once, the whales arrived before the customers did: we got the lookout’s call before people had arrived.

The lookout told us that it was a blue whale. It was my first tour of the season, and due to the health crisis it had been more than a year since I had seen my last blue whale in Mexico. I was thrilled with the idea.

In our way to the whale, a vivid pot of common dolphins crossed our path. Despite not being able to spend much time with them –we feared of missing the blue whale– they approached our boat.

When we arrived at the “whale’s area”, we didn’t need to wait at all, the huge blow emerged from the surface and we could start following the blue rorqual, who fluked in every single dive, we could see its tail 7 times! It was a special sighting, not only for the uniqueness of the species and the fluking, but because we had at least 6 people on board that had never seen the great northern rorqual before. Among these 6 people, there was Fiona, who has been joining our tours for 8 years but hadn’t had the luck to see a blue whale yet. It was a very special moment for everyone.

When we were heading back to the harbour, we tried to find the common dolphins again, but we found Risso’s dolphins instead: a group of 12 individuals socializing. This was our last sighting of the day. A great day that left us eager to get back to our regular sailing routine.

-Maria Serra from Azores Experiences

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