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2012 expedition in search of Blue whales, Sei whales and Brydes whales of the Azores

During the month of April some of largest Balleen whales can be seen migrating past the Azores and often feeding in the area.

 

This image taken under a special permit granted by the Regiao Autonoma Dos Acores, Secretaria Regional Do Ambiente E Do Mar, Dreccao Regional do Ambiente.

Sperm Whale close up underwater photograph by Scott Portelli

At the 2011 Beneath the Sea competition, Azores Sperm whale receives an honorable Mention

Sperm whales are amazing creatures to be in the water with and every encounter was unique, I can’t wait to be back with these whales again in the mazing Azorean waters off Portugal.

 

This image taken under a special permit granted by the Regiao Autonoma Dos Acores, Secretaria Regional Do Ambiente E Do Mar, Dreccao Regional do Ambiente.

Humpback Whales

Tongan Humpback Whale Photo and Azores video Highly commended at the 2011 British Underwater Image Festival

Annouced at the 2010 BUIF awards in London, this Humpback whale photograph was Highly commended in the wide angle category, Iwas also luck enough to have my video of the Azores Highly commended. I feel so lucky to be celebrating 10 years with these amazing Humpbacks in Tonga.

Sperm Whale close up underwater photograph by Scott Portelli

Sperm Whale Photograph from the Azores Commended at the 2011 Sony World Photography Awards

This photo taken on my last day in the Azores is one of the most amazing experiences I had in the water with a Sperm Whale. I have spent the past 10 years taking people to swim with whales and I do feel privileged each and every time but there is always a moment that surprises even me. Look forward to seeing these amazing creatures again this June.

 

This image taken under a special permit granted by the Regiao Autonoma Dos Acores, Secretaria Regional Do Ambiente E Do Mar, Dreccao Regional do Ambiente.

blue marlin

Annouced at the 2010 ANZANG Nature Photography awards.

Scott was named runner up in the Our Impact category of the 2010 ANZANG Nature Photography competition for a shot of a Blue Marlin taken in Tonga in 2009. The Marlin had been tagged and released and was gasping and showing multiple wounds to its eye and body. This was a sad sight to see but a good reminder of how we have an impact on the ocean.

whale and Tonga collage

It has been an amazing season with the Humpbacks. But sadly all good things come to an end, well for this year that is.

The season has drawn to an end and it is hard to describe all the amazing things we have seen, so hopefully pictures tell a thousand words. check out this years photos at flickr or on Facebook. We have met lots of interesting people along the way and had some memorable moments with the whales. I can only imagine what 2011 has in store for us. But hopefully a lot more of what we had this year. Stay tuned for updates for the 2011 season.

Whale and Tonga Collage

Half way through the season and the whales just get more amazing

There must be something in the water this month, as the whales seem to want to get up close and personal with the swimmers. Not only are the calves curious but the adults seem to be playing a game called “How close can I get to the humans”. We also saw spinner dolphins with mating whales, a calve spy hopping and opening his mouth in the rain, a heat run of 5 males and a mother and calf and a small white calf with ADD (Attenion Deficet Disorder) discovering his tail makes a cool splashing sound. It has been action packed!

Humpback whale tours

Well our first few weeks in Tonga have been a great start to the season

We have had some nice encounters with the whales in the past few weeks and have seen some interesting behaviour, including some pretty cool breaching and we even had fun with our whale and people portrait session, as well as lots of singing Humpbacks. there is nothing like floating metres above a singing whale as the sound reverberates through your body. They definitely have a strong set of pipes. Not to mention that we have also discovered a new form of adventure which I like to call swimming with jelly fish in the harbour. trust me we were amused for hours. stay tuned, more to come from Tonga.

Azores Sperm Whales

The Azores is one of the best places in the world to see such diversity of whales and dolphins and other marine life.

Just returned from the Azores where we had some amazing encounters with the diversity of cetaceans that frequent the waters off the Azores Archipelego. we saw 11 species of whales and dolphins while we were there including some rarely seen cetaceans such as bottlenose whales, beaked whales and large balleen whales like the Sei and Brydes whales. All images taken under a special permit granted by the Regiao Autonoma Dos Acores, Secretaria Regional Do Ambiente E Do Mar, Dreccao Regional do Ambiente.

Humpback whale Mother and calf

Scott has won the Highly Commended award at the British Underwater Image Festival for 2010 with his image of a Humpback mother and Calf seen in the 2009 season in Vava’u

Just announced at the BUIF (British Underwater Image Festival) held at Dive Fest in Cornwall on Sunday 2nd May, I have been lucky enough to be presented the Highly Commended award in the Sea & Sea Open category. The photo is off a new born calf and its mother that was seen during the 2009 whale season. Look forward to having some amazing opportunities in the 2010 season.