Short-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) in front of Terra Azul boat

What an amazing sunny day yesterday on an ocean full of life!

We were lucky to see 6 different cetacean species!

In the morning we took off with big pods of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) swimming as usual very close to our boat.

 

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis)

 

After this we cruised 12 miles out from coast to see a group of Short-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus). They were logging at the surface, giving our guests the opportunity to enjoy them to the fullest. The ocean was amazingly calm and there wasn’t a lot of wind, so we could hear them breathing.

 

Short-finned Pilot Whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) in front of Terra Azul boat with Santa Maria island in the background

 

In the afternoon we went again far out. Our lookout spotted a blow at 18 miles away from coast. The ocean allowed us to cruise on full speed. When arrived we almost immediatly spotted not one blow, but 4!
Four male Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) close to each other at the surface. After a couple of minutes they prepared for diving. We saw 4 beautiful flukes.

 

Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus)

Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) fluking

 

On our way back to the marina we were also surprised by a Beaked Whale. We could identify it as a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris).

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale is one of the larger members of the Beaked Whale family, with a maximum length of about 7 m. They presently hold the mammalian dive record of 2992 m and 137,5 min (Schorr et al., 2014).

 

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris)

 

Later on the afternoon tour we were also lucky to see Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis).

 

References:

Schorr, G.S., Falcone, E.A., Moretti, D.J., and Andrews, R.D. (2014). First long-term behavioral records from Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) reveal record-breaking dives. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092633.

Jessie Ocket

About Jessie Ocket

Jessie is a Guide at TERRA AZUL since 2019. She has a strong passion for the ocean, the marine ecosystem and the complex interactions between the species living in it. Totally ready to educate Humans and collect data for MONICET - The Azores Islands Cetaceans Research & Conservation long-term monitoring project.

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