Surrounded by ocean, ocean and more ocean, the Azores islands are completely in the hands of the North Atlantic Ocean. Some days it provides us calm seas, other days it takes us on a ride across wind and swell. This morning, the ocean welcomed us with an adventurous touch: 1.5-2 m swells, some wind, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
After venturing several miles towards the west-southwest, we first met up with a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins. Our beloved summer guests. It was a large group of about 200 individuals. Estimating large groups of dolphins isn’t always easy, especially with the sea conditions and erratic movements of the animals today!
The next species we encountered was the bottlenose dolphin. Again a wonderfully large pod of about 50-60 individuals, with some socializing going on. It was also a nice opportunity to compare their body sizes to the smaller Atlantic spotted dolphins that we saw before. The Atlantic spotted dolphins grow up to circa 2.3 m, whereas the oceanic-type bottlenose dolphins in the Azores can reach lengths up to 4 m.
What a pleasure it was to see two large groups of wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Ready for your next Atlantic adventure?