Azores: practically perfect

Apologies for the delay. We’ve had some computer issues, which is why this is late.

Satuday was an amazing day! We had a plan to go to the south and west of Faial, because the lookout hadn’t seen anything to the south of Pico when we were leaving. But just as we were about to turn the “corner” to go south of Faial, he called to say that he had seen a baleen whale in front of the vigia. So off we went to the South of Pico.

About 45 minutes later we were watching the first baleen whale of 2020, a fin whale. We stayed long enough to get the ID photos and then we were off to the south of Faial again. But we hadn’t gone very far before the lookout shouted “BLOW”! He had spotted another baleen whale closer to the coast. So we changed our course and headed that way. Just as we were approaching the area he had directed us to, a huge fluke rose out of the sea, as if the whale was saying “Hey, I’m over here”! And by looking at the fluke, we all shouted BLUE WHALE!! And it was indeed, quite a large blue whale. A bit on the thin side, but that is pretty normal at this time of year, when the whales are heading back to the feeding grounds after not eating for a few months on the breeding grounds. It was a fairly co-operative whale, because we were able to get the photo ID shots from both sides. Unfortunately, it didn’t show us the tail again.

Once again, we headed for the south of Faial. This time we actually made it to the area we had originally set out for! And what did we find? A group of sperm whales! We got fluke photos from four individuals and a large calf. Along the way, we passed a group of common dolphin with a lot of calves. And on our way back to port, we came across a mixed group of common and striped dolphin.

All in all, a practically perfect day [and Lisa’s birthday – Happy birthday!, ed.]. And to cap it all off, there have been some matches too. Three whales matched to 2009, one to 2018 and two to last year!

It looks like there is going to be a bit of wind and rain this week, but hopefully we will get out towards the end of the week or the weekend to see what is waiting for us.

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