Freitag, 3. Juni 2011

Marine Biology in the Azores

Hi, my name is Hella Martens, and I am from the Netherlands. I have arrived in Pico almost 2 weeks ago and will be working as a whale and dolphin watching guide with Pico Sport for the next 6 months.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management and have specialized in the field of cetaceans (the combined name for whales, dolphins and porpoises) research, conservation and education for the past 7 years. I have had amazing opportunities all over the world working with different whale and dolphin species in all sorts of different positions. While living and working in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and the Canary Islands, I have learned to appreciate and enjoy the immense beauty and importance of rich ecosystems, both on land and in the ocean.

Working with Pico Sport in the Azores is a new, exciting challenge for me. The area is extremely rich with so many different species. Already in my first week I have seen 4 new species I had never had the chance to encounter before; the Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Sei Whale and Risso's Dolphin. Also Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins and Sperm Whales have been seen on various trips. The highlight of my stay so far has been yesterday's sighting of the gigantic Blue Whale, foraging at a speed of 20/25 knots. The sheer size and power of this animal was incredible!! The customers, the skipper and myself were blown away (literally)! See the previous posting in this blog for photos of that sighting... :-)

I would like to invite anybody with a passion for wildlife and the ocean to join us! Every day on the water is a different one, and I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge on these amazing creatures!! You will have an amazing experience!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Risso's Dolphins (Grampus griseus)

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