Our Daily Trips

Like old school sailors we keep our daily trip journals & reports, feeding our blog on a daily basis with the best selection of photos and stories to tell, registering everything. Check out the amazing stories and photos we collect every day...

17.01.2018 – Northern Fin whale

17.01.2018 – Northern Fin whale

The highlight of the day happened before we came back to the harbor of Calheta, in our morning trip. Considering that Northern Fin whales are one of the most difficult baleen whales to get close to, from land our spotter informed us that there were two, probably mother and calf. As we left a small group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and headed to the whale´s location high expectations and vigilant eyes were on board. Patiently we waited for the animals to surface and after some time we were rewarded with a brief sighting of the adult animal where we had a good perception of its size. We estimated that this specimen was over 20 meters in length. During this brief moment we were also able to see the ectoparasites hanging along the back of this cetacean. These creatures are generally seen with some repulsion, but we must not forget that in Nature everything has its place and purpose to achieve balance…. Some authors defend that in the northern hemispheric regions, were the Archipelago of Madeira is included, there is actually a sub-species of Fin whale, justifying its designation as Northerny Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus physalus). Considering that in the globe, the tropical regions work as natural barriers simply by the difference in water temperature, natural isolation of populations are likely to happen resulting in the appearance at first of sub and later of new species in evolution time…

by Daniel Jardim

Sightings of the day:


10:00 Bottlenose dolphins; Northern Fin whale

15:00 Atlantic spotted dolphins; Bottlenose dolphins

  1. Laura
    February 5, 2018

    I thknk you got it the wrong way round. I was in the 10 am tour and saw no fin whales. Maybe that was in the second tour or it was on another day

    • Marlene Cabral
      February 5, 2018

      Hi Laura,

      On this day we had tours in the morning and in the afternoon. The whale described on this blog is a new sub-specie from the Fin whale and for what I understood it was brief encounter as the whale dove down. I will check with the guide if he has any pictures to stand this post correctly.


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