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|10-09-2019| Sperm whales and Common dolphins

It was a great morning with flat sea and a very large pod of spermwhales south of Pico ISland. Our dear spotter Carlos, from São Mateus found the animals giving directions to our boat.

Today we had Dr. Gonçalo Graça and Dr. Zé Nuno as second and first skipper, Clara Rodrigues the MSc student recording delphinid behaviour and sounds and the Dr. Nuno Vasco Rodrigues, a National Geographic colaborator photographer from Fundo Azul for a what had to be a special expedition.

First a stop for dolphins research and observation of Common dolphins Delphinus delphis. Recording sounds, behaviour and photo identification.

The sperm whale pod was close and females were diving, allowing to collect fluke images to identify the pod. The pod was big, with had at least 10-12 females, plus calves and juveniles that were being watched in the area by several boats. From some initial observations, we came back to the whales after exploring a floating raft.

A large piece of marine litter - often termed as "raft" allowed to study this pelagic ecosystem, recording unfrequent marine fishes and associations. It is on this rafts that the majority of species arrived the Azores in the first place. So Nuno Vasco Rodrigues went in to inspect it!


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