The first few minutes are the breathtakers!
That first jump into the water somewhat takes your breath away but once you begin swimming a bit, then it is okay and feels a bit warmer (even if only in my mind). Thank goodness the sessions are only ~30 min.
My first session was truncated at 13:56 min because Princess decided she really liked me and wanted to crowd me out. I try to have the dolphins ignore me so that I can record dolphin-dolphin behavior and interactions. Well, Princess, the most adult female at 40 yrs old, had other intentions. She came very close and decided I might make a good toy. The trainers got my attention and had me move to the platform and exit the water. It seems that Princess likes people to swim with her for lengthy periods of time …
The second session was with Nina and her 2 month old calf, Cacique, Soca and Aunty V. They zipped around pool five but also made several passes by me so that I was able to record some video of their behavior, with stereo sound. Very cool stuff.
It is nice to be back in the water and to be collecting data. It is nice to see the folks – trainers and other staff – at Dolphin Encounters. And, it is wonderful to have Mats, Christer, Josefin and Sofia with us from Sweden to test out their Elvis system.
We should have a very productive second week in the field.