Today there is definetely a Sunday feeling at the marina… the strong sun and slight breeze only add to the calm atmosphere of today 🙂

At sea, even the dolphins were enjoying a very relaxed day. The Risso’s dolphins were travelling slowly as usual but, despite not approaching too much, the small group of adults let us get close enough to see their white glow underwater.


Young Risso’s dolphin peeking out



While with the Risso’s dolphins, the lookout spotted an active group of Atlantic Spotted dolphins having some breakfast with their friends, the Cory’s shearwaters. These dolphins are so curious that not even food will distract them from a fast boat – so they came to play a little bit with us!


Atlantic Spotted dolphin calf – this little boy was practicing his leaps for a while


Atlantic Spotted dolphins checking out the whale watchers

Unfortunately, during our encounter with the Spotties we had a sad flash of reality: one of the adult dolphins had a fishing net around it’s tail! We didn’t get a picture because we were getting ready to go to the water to help it get free of the net, but the dolphin was a bit faster and disappeared.

Every day we find a lot of trash at sea: floating buckets, plastic, fishing gear, etc. Most people think about the danger of ingestion or drowning when we mention the effect they can have on marine mammals. But non-lethal entanglement can also have a heavy toll on cetaceans’ lifes – having a net around the tail of a dolphin won’t kill it but it will slow it down, make foraging and socialization hard, turn the swimming more expensive energy wise. We will keep an eye out for this dolphin and, until now, hope it can get rid of the net by itself.


Cory’s shearwater taking flight


To finish the morning in a high note, we had a wonderful group of Common dolphins playing with each other. Most of the Common dolphin groups that we found lately have been a bit more shy, so it was really nice to see them so relaxed enjoying each other’s companies.


Common dolphins playing with each other


Common dolphin with the Vila Franca Islet in the background



Keep following our adventures here! 😀

Catarina Fonseca

About Catarina Fonseca

Catarina is Marine Biologist and was Main Guide and Technical & Scientific Director at TERRA AZUL from 2014 to 2017. She is dedicated, knowledgeable and a passionate friend to animals and humans. We hope she can come back soon to wildlife experiences with us. , and everyday works on ensuring the highest educational and conservation standards during spractice. She also contributes collecting Data collection for MONICET – The Azores Islands Cetaceans Research & Conservation long-term monitoring project.

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