The south coast of São Miguel is full of dolphins in these days and of different species. So, we started our day with some Risso’s dolphins, adults and young individuals which were resting. We later encountered a larger and dispersed group, which was travelling towards East where the coast is steeper and the waters tend to be deeper. You can check the morning sightings on the map below, with the two grey dots being related to the Risso’s dolphins sightings.


Morning sightings of today. The black line refers to the 1000m bathymetry contour (Source MONICET,



The common dolphins (light blue dot) were also found engaged in two different activities with some individuals socializing closer to the coast and some foraging not too far from the Atlantic spotted dolphins (green dot). These groups were including many calves, of which some just newborn. The water is still very warm (24ºC) and so it is suitable for the baby dolphins to be born at this time of the year 🙂

At the same time, our swimmers were enjoying a lot the huge group of Atlantic spotted dolphins mixed with some common dolphins. It was like a live National Geographic documentary! Dolphins were really curious around us, and it was amazing to see them hunting fish with Cory’s shearwaters diving around them. Love was also in the air, some dolphins were having fun together 😉




The bottlenose dolphins (red dot) added some more excitement for our whale watchers, with a large group also travelling towards East and approaching the boat from time to time to bow-ride!

Eventually a larger species completed our day, the sperm whale! 😀


At first we sighted a mother with a tiny calf next to her. They spend a lot of time on the surface and the calf was drinking for a while just below the mom. Eventually they dived, but then we encountered another mom with her small calf! So it was a kindergarden of whales today. The adults all showed their mighty flukes for another deep dive into the abyssal zone!


Female sperm whale initiating her deep dive.


sperm whale mother + calf (calf continuously drinking milk from mother)


However, the day cannot be complete without other species than cetaceans and today during our tour around the little islet in front of Vila Franca do Campo, the Ilhéu, we saw 5 beautiful little egrets.


Little egret – family of the heron.

Waiting for tomorrow’s encounters!

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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