Dolphin trip in the Azores was a great success
Ponta Delgada (Azores, Portugal) – The first InspiRadiance dolphin trip (to the Azores) has taken place on July 3-10, 2018 and was a great success! Every morning we went on the ocean in the zodiac boat. We have met 2 species of whales (2 sei whales and 7-8 sperm whales) and large pods of 5 species of dolphins. We have swum (eco-friendly and respectfully!) With 3 of these: bottle nose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins and common dolphins. The other 2 dolphin species we have seen were striped dolphins and false killer whales. For the island São Miguel in the Azores it is quite rare to meet so many species in one week! These meetings have moved every one in our group of 10 participants profoundly. We have meditated at sea during every dolphin excursion and also at places on the island. The meditations were tuned to whatever was happening at that moment.
Next year another such trip! Keep an eye on this website, it will be posted soon!
List of encounters (2018):
Wednesday, July 4:
In the morning we have swum with common dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins.
In the afternoon we have snorkeled in a lagoon in the Vila Franca islet, where we saw beautiful, colorful fishes.
Thursday, July 5:
In the morning we have swum with Atlantic spotted dolphins. From the zodiac boat we observed 2 Sei whales and 7-8 Sperm whales.
Video: 2 Atlantic spotted dolphins bow-riding in front of the boat. © 2018, Saskia Bosman
In the afternoon another group member and I have explored the botanical garden Jardim Antonio Borges to see whether there were quiet places for meditation and there were.
Friday, July 6:
We have made an all-day land excursion to Furnas at the other end of the island. Here we have visited a tea factory with a plantation, we have meditated in very serene surroundings by a crater lake, after this we have had a lunch prepared with geothermal heat. We have seen it being cooked outside in the ground. We have walked by various bubbling, boiling puddles and have swum in a warm, bright orange, iron-rich lake.
The orange lake. © 2018, Saskia Bosman
At the end of this excursion we have climbed long stairs to a church on a hill from where we enjoyed a beautiful view of Vila Franca do Campo and its islet (where we saw colorful fishes earlier).
Saturday, July 7:
In the morning we have swum with bottle nose dolphins. First we have met a pod of 50, than a group of 20 with 2 newborn dolphins.
Video: bottle nose dolphin mother with her baby. © 2018, Saskia Bosman
In the afternoon part of the group has visited the botanical garden Jardim Antonio Borges and meditated among the plate-like roots of an enormous Ficus macrophylla tree.
Sunday, July 8:
During the morning at sea we have met Atlantic spotted dolphins. Then we got into a pouring rain shower, coming down from a single, gray cloud. After the rain shower we have seen striped dolphins jumping by. Then we have swum with bottle nose dolphins. Soon these lost interest in us and got busy with each other. We saw a long parade of male bottle nose dolphins making high leaps out of the water in order to impress the females. This was another pod than the one with the 2 baby dolphins, that swam more calmly because of the little ones. These guys however, were fast and busy though marvelous to see.
In the afternoon we have visited the botanical garden Palacio de Sant’Ana which is the garden of the presidential palace of the Azores. Here we found another ficus tree, this one with multiple trunks, forming a kind of living cathedral with pillars. Here we have meditated.
Monday, July 9:
This day we did not swim because of a rough ocean. However, from the boat we spotted special company again: first the bottle nose dolphins with the two newborns we have met earlier, after these (and much further away) a pod of some 50 false killer whales which are big dolphins that can reach a length of 7 meters. These are rarely seen near the island! They do not have a pointed but a round rostrum. They eat fish and sometimes the young of smaller dolphin species.
Video: False killer whales. © 2018, Saskia Bosman
In the afternoon we have visited the botanical garden Jose do Canto. In a small forest we found an open place with a circle of logs which formed nice seats for us. Here we have meditated and given our heart-felt thanks to all cetaceans we have met.
This was an unforgettable week, a wonderful dream that had come true.