Sometimes things are Black and White, like False killer whales and white dolphins!

It has been a few days since we’ve been out at sea!

But let me tell you something the wait was worth it.

It seems Santa brought us some pretty good sightings for the first trip of the month. Seeing marine mammals is pretty cool but when a whole boat shares the experience and is sensitive to what is happening in the water then things just get better and better.

We started navigating close to coast and sighted Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis) but we stayed with the dolphins literally two minutes, since Filipe our lookout told us that some very dark creatures were seen further out.

We had navigate fast in order search for this mysterious “Black animal”, who was it ? what could it be ?… Well when we sighted the first blow and this dark animal being curious of our boat, I knew it right then and there, we were seeing the majestic False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens). 

These animals are rare to sight since they are oceanic dolphins that pass through Azores a few times a year. When this happens “boy,we get excited”.  We saw only a few individuals from the pod, that was quite scattered and sighted mostly mothers and calves, yet it was worth it.

False Killer Whales transiting the Atlantic waters or the Azores


We had to leave the travelling black dolphins but close to the area where the Common Dolphins and with the winter sunny rays “Boy ohh boy” were they beautiful to observe.


We decided to navigate back to shore and expected nothing else but to reach the small islet of Vila Franca do Campo, but our skipper Marylou stopped suddenly the boat and shouted ” Risso’s Dolphins”.

A gigantic, calm and impressive group of Risso’s Dolphins (Grampus griseuswas swimming close to coast, these individuals were mostly adults with prominent white coloration and because the waters were so calm you could really appreciate them.

Risso’s Dolphin adult surfacing


Our guest were dazzled as was the staff on board.


Risso’s Dolphins travelling in the waters of Sāo Miguel


Not only our guest were lovely and excited the whole trip, making it an awesome Sunday winter morning.


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.

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