What a thrilling day !

Spending time at sea for whom is really passionate is never a boring matter, the Ocean offers wonders to whoever is willing try to unravel the mysteries of the “Blue Desert”.

During all my trips, never once have I seen what awaited for us at sea this morning.

Let me put you all into context first; Our navigation started as usual, greeting guests early in the morning and heading to the blue unknown, to find a pod of Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis), these magnificent creatures although not curious towards our boat displayed mesmerizing and organized leaps at high speed in a sudden manner, leaving us all gasping at the sight.

Here is a photo of our library of this sort of display

Porpoising common dolphins (Delphinus delphis)


After leaving the pod of Common dolphins we continued our journey in search of bigger animals, as you can see on the library photo this is how our skipper today was is looking with the directional hydrophone for any sound of life that might indicate us were the underwater Leviathans might be.

While he was listening to the songs of the underwater world, that is when it all happened… a massive black underwater coloration swimming at fast speeds with some fins that we were uncertain to identify surfacing for us to observe. They were not fins!

I started to scream “Mobulas, mobulas”, sure of myself we approached the massive stain to verify that we were seeing indeed the Chilean Sicklefin Devil Ray (Mobula tarapacana), not only are these animals endangered but majestic. Never in all my years at sea had I ever seen them on one of our tours. Santa Maria our neighbouring island is believed to be a sanctuary for these graceful cartilaginous fish, yet here in São Miguel they are quite rare.

One of them remained circling our boat for at least 20 minutes and making it obvious how its “wings” are crucial to the locomotion of these animals. Madness was it to see this animal being so curious towards us.

It is such an emotional sight, that I felt the need to share the video with all of you of what the animals looked like, even though from the boat this was a very different perspective. (This is a video of a diver filming the animals)

Trying to catch our breath we continued and navigated to find a massive pod of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis), at least 20o individuals were sharing the area with just a nautical mile distance with Risso’s Dolphins (Grampus griseus). Both quite unique species that fascinate our guests and staff because of their beauty.

Here are photos of the two species from our library catalogue for you to agree with my statement.

Stenella frontalis or commonly known as Atlantic Spotted Dolphins 


Unique experiences fill our lives with excitement and nature can offer so much of that to whom is willing to observe. <3

Thank you for an amazing day at sea, can’t wait to go back tomorrow and be always enchanted by the blue waters of the Atlantic.



Anaïs Builly

About Anaïs Builly

Anais Builly is Marine Biologist and Master of Biology, Ecology and Ecosystems, and of Bioproducts & Bioproduction of Marine Ecosystems, studied in France and South Africa. She is also Marine Wildlife Guide & Community Manager at TERRA AZUL. She is passionate about conservation of marine mammals, and loves being out in the ocean everyday.