Sightings Summary February 2019

As expected, during our last winter month weather has been a bit “grumpy”. However, our guests and our crew had the great chance to encounter some of the species of whales and dolphins that can be sighted in Sao Miguel waters.

TerraAzul sightings on February 2019. Source: MONICET.


Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis) have confirmed to be present in large numbers close to our shores during this time of the year. In particular, one pod counted above one hundred individuals. Several subgroups were foraging as gulls were taking advantage of fish chased to the sea surface for an easy morning snack.

We also spent some time with a small group of adult Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) resting just outside of Vila Franca Marina.

An adult Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) cruises along TerraAzul boat’s bow, right outside Vila Franca Marina. Its fin is well marked and, hopefully, it will be an “easy” match for MONICET catalogue 😉


A large pod of Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleaoalba) briefly approached Sao Miguel South shores. They surrounded TerraAzul boat porpoising out of the water before to disappear in the open Ocean.

One of the highlights of the month was definitely a close encounter with a group of Blainville’s Beaked Whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) which included a large (around 4.5 meters) adult male.

Finally, we had the great sight of two adults Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus), the first ones to be spotted in Sao Miguel this year. To paraphrase an Italian proverb, two baleen whales do not mean that spring migration has already started, but we cannot wait to be out again to test this hypothesis!

One of the two adult Fin Whales (Balaenoptera physalus) encountered earlier this month in front of Ribera Quente, Sao Miguel Island.

Lorenzo Fiori

About Lorenzo Fiori

Lorenzo is Main Guide and Technical & Scientific Director at TERRA AZUL. He is originally from Italy, holds a PhD about behavioral responses of humpback whales to swim-with-whales tourism activities in Tonga.

Your thoughts on this?