16 and 20 April

Biosphere Expeditions Azores Diary

 

16 April

Our research team for slot two has arrived, and we are coming together nicely as a research team after our first (half) day at sea. We all got a chance to practice our spotting skills with a fin whale with the unusual habit of diving for more than twenty minutes at a time. We also spent some time with the largest grouping of common dolphins to date, a group of 200+.

 

Common Dolphins Bow
Common Dolphins

 

Common Dolphins Bow Riding
Common Dolphins Bow Riding

 

Reeling in the hydrophone about the Physeter
Reeling in the hydrophone about the Physeter (we use it to listen for Sperm Whales)

 

20 April

Our second group of volunteers has brought very nice weather and some incredible luck for us in our sightings. We continue to have the excellent problem of data coming in so quickly that at times it is difficult to keep up with recording them. A new species for us was sighted on Tuesday when we saw a minke whale.  We also had the opportunity to see eleven sperm whales swimming abreast on the surface. Tuesday we also had eight random sightings, which kept Cornelia and Sylvia quite busy on the POPA paperwork.

After a well-deserved shore day on Wednesday, we continued to be lucky in our animal sightings on Thursday and saw striped dolphins swimming in their carousel fashion and a leatherback turtle. We also saw sperm whales exhibiting unusual behavior by sticking their noses out of the water to take a look at neighboring whale watching boats. Both days we sighted the strange and wonderful sun fish. Also on Thursday, several of us on the Physeter had the remarkable good fortune to see a sperm whale breach. We’ll see if we can top that in our last two days.

 

Mariam listening for Sperm Whales on the hydrophone
Mariam listening for Sperm Whales on the hydrophone

 

Katie signing the wharf painting
Katie signing the wharf painting

 

Walking back to base from the dock - last day for this group
Walking back to base from the dock - last day for this group

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