Aaaaaaand … it is finally time to get out at sea again!!! What to say, when we spend days after days out there we almost get use to it, then bad weather comes and unfairly reminds us how blessed we are to have the chance to ride waves and observe amazing sea creatures in their natural environment!
Not that today was easy, after four days of unexpected stormy weather, the oceanic swell was still quite ‘important’ 😀 But who cares when you can encounter an unexpected Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis) apparently delayed in its migration to the North! That is, here in São Miguel we observe this baleen whale species mostly in spring and early summer. Sei Whales are the third largest whales (and animals!) on the Planet and the fastest whales: they can reach 50 km/hr on short distance and swim at 25 km/hr for hours!!! Unfortunately, they are still classified as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to their low recovery rate after the heavy industrial hunt decimated their populations worldwide.
Today we also witnessed heaps of dolphin activity! Hundreds of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) were frenzy-feeding with Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) on bait fish balls at about 7 miles out of Vila Franca do Campo. Another small group in the afternoon was more focused on mating attemps 😉 Morevoer Bottlenose, Common and Striped Dolphins were encountered by our guests and crew.
Finally, we have several sightings of Great Shearwaters (Ardenna gravis). Do you know what it means? Well, Autumn is coming! 😉