Update from our volunteer vacation / conservation holiday protecting whales, dolphins and turtles around the Azores archipelago (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/azores)

Team three arrived Thursday, and wasn’t able to go out to sea on our first scheduled day because of high winds (Team 2 knows what I am talking about!) Today, Saturday, was our first day out and we made up for lost time.

What a day! Our group saw seven blue whales. We also saw eleven sei whales, nine badly behaved sperm whales who chose not to fluke, two fin whales, one turtle and about 80 common dolphins. The second to last blue whale did fluke for us; it’s very rare that they do, but we’ve got pictures and a video to prove it

Martina was our super spotter today, with our first sighting of the day. With only eight team members, and three of them feeding the fish at the back of the boat, yours truly was “water girl” (most of the time). Kudos to all team members for filling in for others as they dropped down to the back deck one by one. And special thanks to Ann, who wrote up the POPA transects and a staggering amount of random cetacean sightings by herself on the first day!

Marília was our photographer today, and she did a great job. There were lots of Portuguese man-of-war in the water, and she captured this really nice one for the team. Actually, all of these pictures are hers.

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We have four “placements” with us on this group, Masters Students from the University that have joined the expedition as part of our capacity-building efforts. On all projects Biosphere Expeditions tries to give back to the community by using local services, guides, resources and food, as well as educating and empowering locals. Marília, Mónica, Manuel and Flávio are a great addition to our team.

 

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

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