Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sperm Whale

"If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me." So wrote Herman Melville in the opening chapter of Moby Dick.
I too feel the need to spend time by the coast or on the sea in search of seabirds and especially cetaceans. The naturalist and writer Mark Carwardine speaks of his need for a regular whale or dolphin "fix", and these animals, unlike any other, act like a drug on the minds of many people; once addicted there is no cure. The pleasure in seeing a distant blow as a whale surfaces, or the joy felt seeing dolphins at close quarters surfing the wake of boats or riding the bow-wave is unlike any other wildlife experience.
So for my fix this year I returned to the beautiful Azorean island of Sao Miguel, to search for whales and dolphins. I undertook five trips with the experienced Futurismo team, who virtually guarantee cetacean sightings. On my trip here last summer I was unfortunate not to see any species of whale, so I was more than pleased when one of my trips on the catamaran Cetus, produced sightings of a regular Sperm Whale know as "Mr Liable" for his reliability in showing up in the waters near the capital Ponta Delagada.

A 45 degree bushy blow is a good indication that you have spotted
a Sperm Whale.

Sperm Whales dive deeply in search of prey such as squid
and as such show their tail flukes when diving.

You might also like:
Azores Spotted Dolphins

Azores Common Dolphins

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