Freitag, 29. Juli 2011

3 D Film Team at Pico

Once again Pico Sport is arranging a filming with a 3 D Film Crew. Today the Heli Team arrived and we are shooting 3 D from a remote Helicopter....a new experience for us as well.

Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2011

Rare visitors!

20th July- dolphin swim with Pico Sport, always a new adventure!

What was supposed to be a dolphin swim turned out to become an extraordinary whale watching trip!

On a sunny morning in July we left the harbour in Lajes, where Frank recently opened a new shop. We are operating from both Madalena and Lajes now, the two largest cities on Pico Island.

Once on the water, we soon encountered a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), which is endemic to the temperate and tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean. We put the swimmers (two at a time) in the water and they had a really good time with the animals. After a while, one of our vigias got exciting news: He had spotted rare Northern bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus)! This species is also endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean and belongs to the group of the beaked whales (Ziphiidae).

Beaked whales are one of the least known groups of mammals because of their deep-sea habitat, mysterious habits, and apparent low abundance. It was hunted heavily in Norway and England, leaving an estimated population of approx. 10,000 animals.

We took off and approached them very slowly and carefully. There were four or five animals traveling together, showing impressive blows!

As we were aiming to continue the ‘dolphin swim’, we looked for some bottlenose dolphins due to the advices of the vigia. We found false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) instead! A few of the approximately 30 animals surrounded the boat, definitely very curios, and surfaced right next to the boat. One of the bigger males (they can grow up to 6 meters) even rubbed its belly against the boat- outstanding!

false killer whales

The False Killer Whale has not been extensively studied in the wild; much of the data about it has been derived by examining stranded animals.
We could not find any words to describe this very special encounter! It was the first time in 2011, that false killer whales were seen in the Azorean waters.

After all we had seen that day, we also found a pod of short finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), the second largest member of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae).

Both false killer and pilot whales belong to Blackfish, which consists in 6 species of cetaceans (orca, long and short finned pilot whale, melon- headed whale, pygmy killer whale and false killer whale) They are commonly called whales but classified scientifically in the Delphinidae or oceanic dolphin family.

Four species in one trip, two rare sightings, close encounters – What an incredible day!

Book your dolphin contact with Pico Sport

Dienstag, 26. Juli 2011

shark weeks in Pico

The shark weeks in Pico are doing very very well. Flat sea, 40m visibility, blue sharks, Mako sharks and Mobula rays
the onliest place in Europe where you can see this wonders of nature...

Thanks you Michael Webersberger for this excellent pictures, takes during the shark weeks with Pico Sport.

book your shark week 2012 with us NOW.....

Sonntag, 24. Juli 2011

Beaked whales

Beaked whales are rear to be seen. Yesterday Michael Webersberger was lucky when this whale was interested in the boat on our way from princess Alice to Pico Island. He came so close twice that we had time enought to hold the cameras in to the water from the boat.....what a luck to get a shoot of a seldom animal like this.
We think its Mesoplodon Mirus, True´s Beaked whale...

Everthing is possible in the waters around Pico island....a true meetimg place of Cetacea and other creatures of the sea.....
discover the secret with us

Princess Alice Season

The shark weeks at Pico are running.

In this wonderfull programm we include 2 day trips to Princess Alice Bank where the Mobula Rays meet. Yesterday we met around 50 animals in Christal clear waters....comming right in front the camera of Michael Webersberger...

The shark weeks are up until the Mid of September. Next year we will start around the 10th July with this programm. make sure you book your sharkweeks 2012 right now with Pico Sport.....dive with the shark explorers !

Freitag, 22. Juli 2011

Voluntär bei Pico Sport

Ein Voluntariat bei Pico Sport

Mein Name ist Valentina, ich bin 22 Jahre alt und komme aus Österreich.

Vor einigen Monaten habe ich mich bei Pico Sport als Volantaire beworben und habe nun das Glück für zwei Monate mitarbeiten zu können. Hier untersuche ich grade den Tentakel eines Riesenkraken den wir treibend an der Oberfläche gefunden haben.....Pottwale tauchen hier bis 2500m tief und jagen diese Lebewesen. manchmal findet man dann Reste der Mahlzeit auf dem Wasser.

Ich bin nun seit zwei Wochen hier auf Pico und das was ich bis jetzt gesehen und erlebt habe hat all meine Erwartungen übertroffen, es ist einfach unglaublich was man hier alles erleben kann.
Jeden Tag kommt es zu neuen Herausforderungen neuen Erlebnissen die einem nur bereichern können.

Ich hatte auch die Ehre die ersten fünf Tage ein professionelles österreichisches Kamerateam zu begleiten. Wir waren täglich bis zu 10 Stunden am Wasser und hatten atemberaubende
Erlebnisse mit Walen, Delfine, Haie, Schildkröten, Schwertfische, und vielen mehr.

Auf dem folgenden Bild sehen wir Manfred Hochleitner mit einem Pottwal. Eine absolut irre Begegnung. Manfred filmt für eine ORF / Discovery Produktion und arbeitet seit 2 Jahren mit Pico Sport an diesem Projekt. Pico Sport arbeitet ständig mit Film und Fototeams aus aller Welt und gilt als das weltweit erfahrenste Unternehmen wenn es um Wal und Delphinaufnahmen unter und über Wasser geht.

Ich bin schon sehr gespannt, was mich als nächstes erwartet, denn das schönste hier ist
"we never know".

danke an Frank, Claudia und Manfred

Freitag, 15. Juli 2011

Sowerby's beaked whales!!!

Two of our whale watching trips over the last few days have had the special and exciting opportunity to view the elusive Sowerby's beaked whale!! A quick glimpse before diving again, but the unmistakable head made it clear it was beaked whales we were seeing!!

Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens), aka North Atlantic beaked whale, is a slender cetacean that measures between 4-5 m in length and weighs between 900-1,100 kg. They have 2 teeth in the lower jaw that protrude in males. The dorsal fin is small and curved with a rounded tip. The flukes are dark in color and unnotched. The flippers of Sowerby's beaked whale are curved and relatively long compared to other Mesoplodon species. Sowerby's beaked whales are slate to blue-gray on the dorsal side, lighter on the v
entral side with occasional gray or white spots.

Little is known about Sowerby's beaked whale, however some have been observed surfacing head first at a steep angle after which the animal spends about 1 minute breathing. They then dive for 10-15 minutes, and have been observed resurfacing up to 800 external link m away.

Beaked Whales (Family Ziphiidae)
These medium-sized to moderately large whales have a single pair of grooves on the throat. There is a distinct snout, and often the few teeth present are visible only in adult males.
These whales are deep divers and are rarely seen. Many species are known only from a few specimens, and little is known about the life history and biology of the group. All members of this family, except Blainville's beaked whale, are difficult to distinguish from each other, and study by museum experts is usually necessary for identification.

Based on data collected from strandings, Sowerby's beaked whale, Mesoplodon bidens, is found in temperate and subartic waters in the eastern and western North Atlantic.

Sowerby's beaked whale likely feeds on squid, octopus and fish.

Sonntag, 10. Juli 2011

Summer whale and dolphin watching

What an excellent kick start of July fo
r whale and dolphin watching! The last few days have been great; the sea couldn't have been any calmer, the visibility clearer, the sun warmer and the animals more abundant. Our customers and the crew have been lucky to witness Sperm whales in active, social surface behaviours. One group of 3 whales showed the juvenile in the group rolling onto its side, spy hopping and showing its odd-looking narrow lower jaw, tail lifting, and rubbing against the other members of the group. A few whale watching boats were silently follwing, until the whales stopped moving and slowly started drifting in our direction. The enguines were shut down and the whales given free path to go their way. All 3 animals spy hopped before slowly passing close by the boats while observing us. Back on their way to the deep blue... Wow!
And then the dolphins...! Big groups of common and Atlantic spotted dolphins interacting with the boat. A group of bottl
enose dolphins came bow-riding and the amazing visibility made up for a great encounter! And the presence of striped and Risso's dolphins finished off some beautiful days. All dolphin groups seem to have many new born calves in their midst, some with their foetal folds still visible, which indicated that they are only a few days old.!! How special to be able to view these newcomers!!

Summer whale watching is here!! Join us!!

Freitag, 1. Juli 2011

With Pico Sport to Patagonia!!

Discover the secret´s of Patagonia

Every October Pico Sport Lda. travels to Patagonia for amazing wildlife travel opportunities! We have been visiting this special place for the last 19 years, and one of our main reasons to travel in October is the huge gathering of Southern Right whales in the area. From early June to the beginning of November, hundreds of right whales come near the shore to mate and breed. The largest concentration of whales in the area takes place in September and October. Besides the great opportunity to watch these animals, our trips also take you into interesting fishing villages, we visit Penguin colonies, have the chance to observe Commerson's dolphins and much more... Getting excited?!?! We still have some spaces available from the 9th-23rd of October! Contact us at or for more info!

For more Patagonia photos also visit our Facebook page.


The children's initiative Plant-for-the-Planet
was founded in January 2007 and originated from a school project on climate change by Felix Finkbeiner, then 9 years of age. In his project’s conclusion Felix developed the vision of children planting one million trees in each country worldwide thus creating a countermeasure to global carbon emissions. In the following years Plant-for-the-Planet grew into a global movement with currently about 100.000 children in over 100 countries engaged in the initiative. They see themselves as global citizens campaigning for climate justice, which in their eyes includes a total reduction of the emission of gases affecting the climate and the fair distribution of emission rights among all people.

On July 14th Rhino Watch Lodge is welcoming Felix and his Family in Kenya. We will have a children's academy with 500 children and a planting session of 200 trees patronized by Maisha Wirth and Rhino-Watch-Lodge, their local partner in Kenya. Rhino Watch Lodge will maintain a long time relationship with the children of the Plant-for-the-Planet and support their tree planting projects in the future.

Frank Wirth: "We are very honoured that our operation in Kenya has the opportunity to host this event and to become a partner of Plant-for-the-Planet. My daughter Maisha will do everything in her power to plant one million trees in Kenya. For each liter of fuel we burn in our Pico-based operation we will plant in Kenya. Everyone of you can help and donate a tree. You can also come to Kenya, visit Rhino Watch Lodge yourself and plant you own tree... Email us for more information."

See Felix's recent speech
at the Launch Ceremony of the International Year of Forest 2011 in New York on February 2nd:

Also follow his Africa journey on their blog: