The primary reason for our visit to the Azores was for the opportunity to see a whale – not dolphins, porpoises or the like, but a genuine whale. The first few days we were there the sea was too rough for the sightseeing boats to go out. A calmer day was forecast so we booked to go – with the chance to see a Sperm whale. Off we set in a double-decker boat. On the journey out they gave us a talk on what we might see – setting our expectations. A whale was spotted so we headed for it.
A Sperm whale has its blow hole on the front of its head which made the sight of it a little unexpected. We watched the whale for about 15 minutes as it hyperventilated before its next dive. The whale took a last breath and then upended, tail in the air, and disappeared below the surface.
Footnote: I little confession here – I was lucky to get any pictures at all, indeed it took a great deal of mental fortitude on my part. Just prior to us spotting the whale I had an attack of the landlubbers nightmare – fortunately the boat was equipped with an ample supply of ‘just the right size’ plastic bags. From what I saw, several others had similar problems. I was fine until the boat stopped and again when the boat resumed it’s forward motion back to port. I wasn’t swell in the swell!