Baleen whales are taking over the coast of São Miguel in these last two weeks and today we enjoyed once again their presence. In the morning we saw the Bryde’s whales, which were sharing the same area with a group of Risso’s dolphins. The dolphins were calmly swimming, but every now and then they were approaching the surfacing whales. We couldn’t exclude that an interaction was occurring between the two species, but either couldn’t we understand the nature of such interaction. We know for example that bottlenose dolphins may sometimes “annoy” sperm whales, which tend to dive to avoid them. In this case the baleen whales were performing some longer dives, but these dives could have also been related to feeding activity.


We then left them to reach first a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins, which included many calves and then a group of common dolphins while foraging with some shearwaters. In the afternoon, we met our friends: common dolphins. It was a pretty large group of around 60 indivuduals, playfull around the boat and between each other 🙂 We didn’t see them a lot in August on the South coast, maybe due to the presence of huge group of Atlantic spotted dolphins around?


common dolphins – See how beautiful they are!

In the afternoon, we met again baleen whales. Not 1, not 2 or 3, but… 4 sei whales were around the South coast of São Miguel! The first one was very busy to feed close to the shore so we saw it quickly during a couple of seconds and then, she dove to feast on krill 🙂 That said, another group of 3 individuals was resting further. At the begining we thought it was a group of Bryde’s whales but after checking our pictures, we can see that it was a group of sei whales, resting in the Azores.

On the way to go to meet these baleen whales, we observed a lovely group of Risso’s dolphins. It was 3 couples, mother and baby, resting at the surface. Another day full of life on the sea, join us for new adventures 😀

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.

Your thoughts on this?