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magnalog 10564
Pico Whalewatching

Watching whales and dolphins around Pico, the acorian island
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Story 1/14,Sun Aug 14 09:08:07 2005, after 0d 00:00:00 Lat:38.534729 Lon:-28.529625 Elevation:57.5 m
After recieving our life vests, we left the harbour at Madalena on a small boat, 8 tourists, a guide and the skipper.
The guide started to tell us about dolphins and whales currently present in the area.

The skipper was informed where the animals are. People located in lookouts on the island ("Vigia"s) spotted them already and told us via radio where they are. These people were directing the whalers to the whales until the 1980s, when the commercial whaling on the island ended.
Story 2/14,Sun Aug 14 09:27:30 2005, after 0d 00:19:23 Lat:38.479034 Lon:-28.553570 Elevation:52.8 m
First contact with a school of bottelnose dolphins.

»bottlenoses on wikipedia
Story 3/14,Sun Aug 14 09:28:11 2005, after 0d 00:20:04 Lat:38.478493 Lon:-28.553190 Elevation:51.3 m
More dolphins are coming closer.
more and more

Story 4/14,Sun Aug 14 09:33:04 2005, after 0d 00:24:57 Lat:38.477097 Lon:-28.550173 Elevation:57.6 m
Mysterious Pico, omnipresent around the island.
the Volcano

Portugal's highest mountain, 2350 meters, a volcano.
View a magnalog of a trip ›across Pico island (german texts)

»Pico on wikipedia
Story 5/14,Sun Aug 14 09:48:29 2005, after 0d 00:40:22 Lat:38.439888 Lon:-28.516247 Elevation:64.4 m
A flying fish left the water besides us and sailed 50 meters close to us.
Story 6/14,Sun Aug 14 09:59:35 2005, after 0d 00:51:28 Lat:38.401829 Lon:-28.461405 Elevation:57 m
These boats can be fast...
Story 7/14,Sun Aug 14 10:04:49 2005, after 0d 00:56:42 Lat:38.395771 Lon:-28.440866 Elevation:60 m
Risso's Dolphins were seen here. Those are more shy and didn't come close enough for my camera.
»Images of Risso's
Story 8/14,Sun Aug 14 10:16:51 2005, after 0d 01:08:44 Lat:38.394760 Lon:-28.458473 Elevation:55.4 m
Sperm Whales
Sperm Whales

A mother and her male calf, the guide explained. The form of fin distinguishes males and females.

Easy to spot by the blow cloud they make.
They dind't seem to be very disturbed by us because they continued to swim calmly their way.

After a few breaths of fresh air the mother dived, showing us her fluke.
The calf stayed alone at the surface.
Story 9/14,Sun Aug 14 10:17:08 2005, after 0d 01:09:01 Lat:38.394691 Lon:-28.458403 Elevation:55.2 m
floating at the surface
Four more whales spotted nearby, probably the same school. Note the white "cloud" seen. They behave rather predictable.

The males leave the area here to the north when the water gets too warm. The mothers and the calves stay resident around the islands here, we were told.
Story 10/14,Sun Aug 14 10:26:07 2005, after 0d 01:18:00 Lat:38.392120 Lon:-28.463310 Elevation:59 m
zooming in
These animals were an easy prey, they don't even make an attempt to escape.
Story 11/14,Sun Aug 14 10:39:56 2005, after 0d 01:31:49 Lat:38.399178 Lon:-28.472834 Elevation:54.7 m
close Dolphin
These dolphins were cearly interested in the boat. It were "Spotted Dolphins" as far as I remember.
Story 12/14,Sun Aug 14 10:42:51 2005, after 0d 01:34:44 Lat:38.400967 Lon:-28.474813 Elevation:56.6 m
... and down we go. Now it may take a while until we see her again, but others are around.
Good Bye

Story 13/14,Sun Aug 14 11:11:05 2005, after 0d 02:02:58 Lat:38.424072 Lon:-28.463213 Elevation:57.1 m
We thought we spotted something here, but nothing really interesting was found then.
Story 14/14,Sun Aug 14 11:49:18 2005, after 0d 02:41:11 Lat:38.534985 Lon:-28.530367 Elevation:56.6 m
And back home at Madalena again.
Very interesting, dolphins and whales on a single trip.
Lateron, we were swimming with the dolphins, wich in some cases were clearly interested in us and came close.

People easily getting seasick should to take a pill on such a trip.
If You are not used to beeing exposed to the sun, You need lots of sunscreen and a hat.

I found an interesting report about the past of the islands »here