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  • Atlantic Naturalist

|20-5-2019 am| Fin whales, Blue whale, Sperm whales, Common dolphins and a loggerhead seaturtle!

Updated: Sep 30, 2019

The day started with our regular briefing about the species of cetaceans and the oceanic relief of the Azores. We didn't need to wait as there was information about baleen whales. We dressed up and we went to the South.

While reaching the whales a pod of about 20 Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) crossed our path and, of course, we stoped and took some pictures.

Common dolphin approaching our boat

We left the animals and reached the first pair of baleen whales: two Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus).


Fin Whales with a good view of the blow hole of the left animal

Fin whales, usually have a bigger dorsal fin than the Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) and a darker coloration.


Two Fin whales, one of them showing the dorsal fin with Capelinhos volcano on the back

Near that pair of Fin whales there were two other baleen whales: one Blue whale and an other Fin whale.


Blue whale south of Faial Island (Capelinhos), Azores

The most common way to spot a baleen whale is by spotting its blow. It looks like a massive column of water coming from the surface of the sea. In Fin whales it can reach 8m high and in Blue whales 12m,

Blue whale blow - BLOS!!! Shout the spotter!

As we didn't want to disturb the whales, we left the area and went nearer to the shoreline as there was Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) found.


Head and dorsal fin of a juvenile Sperm whale

We managed to see 4 Sperm whales.


Sperm whale off Castelo Branco, Faial Island, Azores

The animals fluked, so we could take some beautiful pictures of their tails, which are useful for photo identification.

Sperm whale tail: fluke and peduncle

Sperm whale's fluke

But cetaceans were not only what we found: a Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) appeared and came very close to our boat, allowing us to take pictures of its shell, which is used for identification too.


Loggerhead turtle

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