Saturday, August 22, 2009

Azores v. 4.5

I still remember some postcards I bought back in 1993 when I first came to the Azores, picturing a family of sperm whales underwater close to Lages do Pico. Since then, I keep saying "You've got to go there" year after year.
With great expectations, I boarded one of Espaço Talassa's whale watching zodiacs today. Although what I really wanted to see were sperm whales, none showed up. But that's the way it goes. Maybe some other time ;)

Engine, ok; flaps, ok; control tower, ok. A Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea; Cagarro in portuguese) takes off.

Some common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) and, I believe, at least one striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, on the right), gracefully swimming between our zodiac and Pico's mountain.

Another Cory's shearwater.

This is a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus; baleia comum in portuguese), which is a rare sight this time of year as she (?) should have traveled through the Azores back in May. Let's hope she (there's no turning back now) catches favorable currents!

"Okay, guys, let's go, flight formation Fox 2 Delta 9!"

An atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; golfinho pintado in portuguese).

"Guts out!"

A group of atlantic spotted dolphins escorted our zodiac when we left the area where they were feeding...

This is the view halfway through (I was told) to Pico's mountain top... that was the farthest I went :(
Made my usual mistake whether I'm running, riding the bike or trekking by starting on full throttle. The result: no more water... and the fact that I would have to descend alone in the dark made me abort the mission. Lame enough?

On my way down: Horta (in Faial) and Madalena.


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