The seas around the Azores are teeming with life. The deep waters are perfect for incredibly large whales including the elusive Blue Whale. Sitting in your little inflatable speedboat your mind starts racing when you see the size of the creatures under the water. Surely a whale in a bad mood could turn the boat over with a flick of his tail? Stories of enormous sea monsters suddenly don’t seem so ridiculous after all.
Fin Whales are the second largest mammal on Earth after the Blue Whale and we were lucky enough to see a small group of them. They can grow up to an incredible 27 metres long and when they’re only about 100 metres away from you that’s not far in whale body lengths! A glimpse of a huge jaw and an eye peered at us. And if the biologist on the boat was right we only saw a third of him. He was gone in a flash, hiding his bulk beneath the waves. They seem like shy creatures… In 1916 RC Andrews called them “the greyhound of the sea…for its’ beautiful slender body is built like a racing yacht and the animal can surpass the speed of the fastest ocean steamship.” (Wikipedia)
From the sedate grace of the Fin Whales, the Orcas were just there to have fun or so it seemed. They leapt and rolled and dived along with the boat. They examined us from all angles; they peered at us from underneath the boat and examine the engine up close. Born entertainers – beautiful to see their characters in the wild. The crew was incredibly excited to see them – apparently they are rare visitors to the area. A lone male appeared in the distance and the females left their play time with us to go and join him.
It was a magical performance in the middle of the ocean.
Our trip was booked through Sunvil Holidays – www.sunvil.co.uk. Whale watching trips can be pre-booked.