Searching for a baleen whale and finding toothed whales :D

Today we headed out to our “office” for another wet and salty adventure! 🙂 In between the ocean swell we were expecting to see a baleen whale spotted by our lookout André. So we got to the area and waited. However, as sometimes happens, nature decided to play a trick and the whale was never spotted by our boat. Instead, all of the sudden two Risso’s dolphins appeared next to us and with a quick movement arched their backs and took a deep dive. Although brief, the encounter allowed to observe their typical scarred bodies, very unique to this species.

Risso’s dolphin


Risso’s dolphin’s dorsal fin with the characteristics scars


In the meantime André spotted other dolphins, namely the Atlantic spotted dolphins, which with their active behaviour captured the attention of everyone on the boat.  Not too far another toothed whale species was about to appear, the sperm whale! Among the waves we could follow them, while blowing and slow swimming. A bit further offshore a calf started to jump, maybe to drive the attention of the adult and the juvenile we were observing.

Sperm whale


Later in the afternoon more and more dolphins were taking over the south coast of São Miguel, and besides the spotted dolphins we also found a group of socializing common dolphins.

Common Dolphin


Porpoising Atlantic spotted dolphin


Will we be able to find the baleen whale tomorrow?! Let’s find it out together, join us on our ocean adventures 😉






Arianna Cecchetti

About Arianna Cecchetti

Arianna is a Marine Biologist and Guide at TERRA AZUL since 2009. Originally from Italy, she sees herself more as a world citizen. After a four years break for a Postgraduate course in the Azores Islands, she's back to enjoy guiding and collecting data for MONICET – The Azores Islands Cetaceans Research & Conservation long-term monitoring project.

What are you thinking?