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Old Thursday 7th December 2017, 11:37   #1
tyson
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Whale Watching Madeira

Hi,

Iíve had a look online but I was just wondering if any seasoned whale watchers have been to Madeira. And if so please could you recommend a company to go with?

Iím going on Monday for a week. Not the best time of year, but I know that Sperm & Brydeís whale are meant to be resident there.

Thanks in advance.

Chris
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Old Thursday 7th December 2017, 11:42   #2
RafaelMatias
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Hi,

Iíve had a look online but I was just wondering if any seasoned whale watchers have been to Madeira. And if so please could you recommend a company to go with?

Iím going on Monday for a week. Not the best time of year, but I know that Sperm & Brydeís whale are meant to be resident there.

Thanks in advance.

Chris
This one is well known: http://www.venturadomar.com/
Cheers
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Old Friday 8th December 2017, 20:28   #3
tyson
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This one is well known: http://www.venturadomar.com/
Cheers
Thanks a lot Rafael.

Iíll post on here what I see.

Best wishes

Chris
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Old Friday 8th December 2017, 20:37   #4
peter.jones
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That company looks to have expanded quite a bit from when I was there about 10 years ago. The whale/dolphin watching trip looks good.

When I went with them, they only had one sailing on offer. It was combined with a trip to the Desertas Islands, and although we saw Spotted Dolphin, and good seabirds, it was a bit of a disappointment in that I saw distant Whale blows a few miles away port side, twice, but the boat couldn't investigate as it was on a timetable to get to Desertas for lunchtime!
So make sure your trip is dedicated Whale and dolphin, and not a Desertas Island tour too. (although there were interesting things to see on the island too )
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 20:49   #5
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That company looks to have expanded quite a bit from when I was there about 10 years ago. The whale/dolphin watching trip looks good.

When I went with them, they only had one sailing on offer. It was combined with a trip to the Desertas Islands, and although we saw Spotted Dolphin, and good seabirds, it was a bit of a disappointment in that I saw distant Whale blows a few miles away port side, twice, but the boat couldn't investigate as it was on a timetable to get to Desertas for lunchtime!
So make sure your trip is dedicated Whale and dolphin, and not a Desertas Island tour too. (although there were interesting things to see on the island too )
Thanks peter.

Iíll make sure I book a trip that is specifically to look for whales.

Chris
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Old Saturday 9th December 2017, 21:43   #6
RafaelMatias
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Originally Posted by peter.jones View Post
That company looks to have expanded quite a bit from when I was there about 10 years ago. The whale/dolphin watching trip looks good.

When I went with them, they only had one sailing on offer. It was combined with a trip to the Desertas Islands, and although we saw Spotted Dolphin, and good seabirds, it was a bit of a disappointment in that I saw distant Whale blows a few miles away port side, twice, but the boat couldn't investigate as it was on a timetable to get to Desertas for lunchtime!
So make sure your trip is dedicated Whale and dolphin, and not a Desertas Island tour too. (although there were interesting things to see on the island too )
Hi,
I think their offer might have been (still is?) seasonal. They used to have available (also about 10 years ago) half day trips for dolphins leaving from Funchal, as far as I can recall. But bear in mind their main clients are "general tourists" and will be happy enough if they see any cetaceans and won't bother too much with exact ID being achieved. Make sure you make clear to them what you expect from them re diversity of species seen and accuracy of ID. I heard a story from someone going with another company about a beaked whale (!!) being right in front of them and no one seemed to care too much about getting an exact ID...
Another trip they used to have on offer was a 4 days sailing trip to the Selvagens islands (for breeding seabirds), and they used to pop up regularly there while I was doing research on Cory's Shearwaters and other seabird species at Selvagem Grande. I think they were the only company doing the Selvagens by then. Once Killian Mullarney,Magnus Robb and others appeared there unexpectedly and I'm pretty sure they used their services.
If you're looking for a seabird dedicated trip I'd try Madeira Windbirds though, they're clearly more specialized.
Cheers
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Old Sunday 10th December 2017, 16:53   #7
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Hi Chris, I've done Madeira quite a few times (not at this time of year though).
The Ventura do Mar is very good but only goes out if sufficient people book. I've found the big Catamarans are fine and because of their speed can go quite a long way out.
I've seen Spotted Dolphins, Fin Whales, Pilot Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins and Common Dolphins out of Funchal.

I hope this weather doesn't mess up your plans too much!!!

Last edited by TWM : Sunday 10th December 2017 at 16:58.
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Old Thursday 14th December 2017, 10:26   #8
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Hi Chris, I've done Madeira quite a few times (not at this time of year though).
The Ventura do Mar is very good but only goes out if sufficient people book. I've found the big Catamarans are fine and because of their speed can go quite a long way out.
I've seen Spotted Dolphins, Fin Whales, Pilot Whales, Bottlenose Dolphins and Common Dolphins out of Funchal.

I hope this weather doesn't mess up your plans too much!!!
Thanks for the advice everyone!

Iíve done 2 trips on Ribs. One with Ventura and one with Lobosonda. Both good trips.

On both trips I saw BNDís & Short Finned Pilot Whales(a new species for me). I was hoping for a big whale but I know itís unlikely at this time of year. Iím seawatching from my apartment with my scope and I may do another trip. It was reasonable spotting conditions on both trips and excellent conditions today.

Have you got a preference of either Madeira or the Azores for Whales, Tim?
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Old Friday 15th December 2017, 19:01   #9
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Azores for me without a doubt.
I did 10 days on Sao Miguel in May 2015. We saw Fin Whales, Sei Whales, Blue Whales, Sperm Whales, BnD and Common Dolphins with Futurismo (who were very good). Don't go near Moby Dick Tours, they really hassled the Whales and should not have a licence!!!
False Killer Whales and occasional toothed whales are also seen out of Sao Miguel
CW Azores out of Pico get some great stuff as well (Next on my Bucket List!).
Good luck with the balcony spotting--we stayed in Calheta and I got Fin Whales, Pilot Whales and BnD from the accomodation!

Last edited by TWM : Friday 15th December 2017 at 19:15.
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Old Saturday 16th December 2017, 00:24   #10
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Thanks Tim,

That’s a great list in just one trip to Sao Miguel. We got Sperm Whales with futurismo 4 times and 5 species of dolphins. I’d like to go back. We didn’t get a good feel about Moby Dick Tours so I’m glad we decided to not go with them.

I had a dolphin species from the balcony yesterday and BND’s with Pilot Whales from it today(Friday). It was nice to get Pilot Whales from land as for my wife to see them as she Isn’t doing any boat trips. 2 days left to see a “big” whale to make it a perfect trip but I know it’s unlikely.

We saw False Killer Whales in Costa Rica. There were around 50 of them chasing fish around our boat. There probably the best thing I have ever seen. So aggressive and alien looking.

Thanks

Chris
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Old Saturday 30th December 2017, 19:01   #11
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Angry Changed over the years

Quote:
Originally Posted by peter.jones View Post
That company looks to have expanded quite a bit from when I was there about 10 years ago. The whale/dolphin watching trip looks good.

When I went with them, they only had one sailing on offer. It was combined with a trip to the Desertas Islands, and although we saw Spotted Dolphin, and good seabirds, it was a bit of a disappointment in that I saw distant Whale blows a few miles away port side, twice, but the boat couldn't investigate as it was on a timetable to get to Desertas for lunchtime!
So make sure your trip is dedicated Whale and dolphin, and not a Desertas Island tour too. (although there were interesting things to see on the island too )
I have been with them many times and they are still one of the best however the staff on board simply do their job, in earlier years they put themselves out to try see what was about. I remember one trip when we were nearly three hours late getting back because there was so much to see, now they simply keep to a routine, sad but that's life.
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