From our volunteer vacation / conservation holiday protecting whales, dolphins and turtles around the Azores archipelago

Group 1 of our 2018 Azores whales, dolphins and turtle expedition has finished.

The weather has thrown everything at us: high winds, rough seas and torrential rain. But the team has stayed strong in the face of adversity. The atmosphere on Physeter, our research vessel, has been positively buoyant even on the toughest of days and we managed to get all the work done. The weather has made it difficult for this group to work on all the species that we usually see on this expedition, but as our scientist Lisa says, the zeros are as important as the ones in science. Humankind still has much to learn about these creatures, which is why data collected on expeditions such as these is so important.

Over the course of last ten days we recorded 5 loggerhead turtles, 1 blue shark, 3 Risso’s dolphins and today, 16 March, as a final farewell we documented a pod of 80 common dolphins, which swam beside us for 40 minutes. Their playful nature and agile forms were a sight to behold, and once we had taken our necessary ID shots, we relaxed and enjoyed their spirited freedom.

Thank you team for being an amazing group, and for finding the humour in every situation. I especially enjoyed our meal times together, and sharing your birthdays. I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you again on the high seas some day and I will let you and the pictures speak for themselves below.

I hand over the baton to Craig now, who will lead the next three groups.

Best wishes, Catherine

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