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

Every day at sea is different, and so are our findings.

For our last day on the research boat with our first group, we were greeted at the harbour by crashing waves. The signs were ominous. The winds had shifted, now blowing from the northwest, giving us 3m+ waves and limited shelter from the islands.

This greatly restricts our survey area, as the white water blowing off the top of each wave masks the genuine whale ‘blows’, and makes seeing any cetacean at the surface extremely difficult. But you can only try….and so we set sail, with minimal expectation.

A morning’s effort was rewarded with a fin whale, some common dolphins and some Risso’s dolphins, and of course another loggerhead turtle. Not as busy as other days, but who wants every day to be the same? Definitely worth being the only boat to leave harbour and brave the elements!

So if you have been following this diary, you will have realised we have seen 8 different cetacean species in 6 days, but the detail in the data reveals we’ve had 61 separate encounters (with individuals or groups) and sighted some 290 individual dolphins and whales. Not a bad week’s work! At all.

So as the first slot comes to end the ‘sightings bar’ has been set, thank you all for your efforts on and off the boat, and patience with the weather.

Safe travels.

 


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

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