We are getting a bit too spoiled lately as baleen whales keep joining us on our tours 🙂 but today it all went beyond any expectation.

After having met the common dolphins while foraging in the company of Cory’s shearwater and surfing the waves, we headed towards the area of the whales. Suddenly, we saw huge splashes at the horizon: only a large whale could cause such an impact, a fin whale was in fact the protagonist!


common dolphins surfing waves, the first to catch a fish is the winner! – Delphinus delphis

Breaching fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) © Chris Liu

fin whale breaching showing the white lower jaw on its right side (Balaenoptera physalus) © Chris Liu


Fin whales do not breach very often, contrary to their cousins humpback whales very well known to put up shows of fins, flukes and body. The individual was breaching vertically with half body out of the water, and its pectoral fins along the flanks, resembling a missile 🙂 The jumps show went on for a while until the whale decided to stop and rest. The remaining time it stayed below the surface, turning sideway while showing a lighter shadow and coming up once in a while to breath. There are very few documented breaching Fin whales, so our guests today were very lucky to have witnessed such encounter, and even more lucky to have recorded it on cameras 🙂 Our camera though, decided to be on strike and no proper shot was taken. Luckily one of our guests, Chris Liu, took some good shots and was very kind to send us  some pictures and a gif. Here it is for you to enjoy!

Breaching fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) © Chris Liu


On our way back we saw another fin whale, this one undertaking regular dives during foraging activity.

We always say that every tour is different, but this one was definitely unique! 😀

Arianna Cecchetti

About Arianna Cecchetti

Arianna is a Marine Biologist and was Main Guide at TERRA AZUL since 2009, and Technical & Scientific Director until 2018. Originally from Italy, she sees herself more as a world citizen. Arianna deserves the very best, and we hope she can come back to share her passion for the sea with us again.

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