A Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) rides the wake of Terra Azul boat.

 

Ola’ whale-watchers!

Even if the Easterly winds that grounded us the last two days have started to easy off, they left us a ‘kind’ reminder of how powerful the Ocean is 😉

In other words, Swell, about a couple of meters. The wave period was good though, and allowed our boats to climb and descend without getting too wet, thanks also to the experience of our skippers, of course! We first encountered a large pod of Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis) feeding together with Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) and Great Shearwaters (Puffinus gravis). Shearwaters were diving alongside the head of the dolphin pod and catching several fish. Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis) were stalking them hoping to get birds to regurgitate the fish. This behavior is known as kleptoparasitism.

 

Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) ‘gave a look’ beneath the water surface trying to localize the fish scared by the dolphins. These birds can see really well under the water and can also dive about 20 meters down!

 

Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) look at our crew and guests from a wave next to Terra Azul boat. An advantage of high waves is that we get an ‘aquarium’ view of the animals swimming into them! 😉

 

After we observed dolphins’ work-up and birds’ feeding frenzy, we moved toward the West riding the swell (trust me, planing on the top of two meter waves with one of our zodiacs is quite fun!). We found a large pod of Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis), and also some sea birds taking advantage of the fish scared by the travelling dolphins, like the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) in the picture below.

 

An adult Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) successfully catches what looks like a juvenile needle-fish. These birds will soon leave our rocky shores to go back to their wintering grounds in the Caribbean islands and they will be back to nest in São Miguel the next Spring.

 

For today this is all, to the next adventure on the Ocean! 🙂

Lorenzo Fiori

About Lorenzo Fiori

Lorenzo is Main Guide, Technical and Scientific Director at Terra Azul. He is originally from Italy and holds a Master in Science in Marine Biology. Currently, he is completing his PhD on the the behavioral responses of humpback whales to swim-with-whales tourism activities in Tonga.

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