World Cup ? Forget about that, let’s go whale watching !!!


Sunday morning in Villa do Franca, the streets were very quiet after a night of “Sao Joao” festivities. This made no difference to our whale watchers who were motivated to go out at sea, and they were right to do so…

Three Sei whales appeared before the boat, for a second there was nothing but silence a quiet island an the blows of the Sei whales, we quietly travelled alongside them, watching the water prints on the water as the swam in a synchronised line, the blue waters.

Time came to leave the whales continue their journey. On our way to the East, we thought we would see dolphins. No no no!!!!! Surprise surprise a family of six Sowerby’s beaked whales made us feel like truly fortunate animal photographers. Everybody on the boat understood the rare situation that presented itself to our whale  watchers.

A boat with people from with many different nationalities made us feel for a moment like a little family that was mesmerised with joy of watching the spotted dolphins perform the most magnificent spectacle. They jumped so high and travelled so fast we could not believe it.

Atlantic Spotted dolphin – typical body movement of tail pressing down to increase its final speed burst (Stenella frontalis)

I turned at a young man from Hungary to ask if he was ok?, his answer was ”I’m fantastic”. The answer and the joy on his eyes made me truly  feel his joy. A little girl from America told me that her spirit animal was the dolphin, and a French woman could not hide her happiness.

Going to the sea never ceases to be a unique experience. So maybe Villa do Franca was sleeping but Not US and certainly not the whales and dolphins.

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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