Spy Creature Adventures!


Thursday morning was fitness time for some of us, with yoga and exercises on the beach. Not a bad view for a workout! Then it was the routine of breakfast and class. We were visited by Skype by Dr. Dudzinski. Her lecture was on bioacoustics. We found her to be a good teacher, adding anecdotes to the physics of sounds. There was a lot of discussion on noise pollution and what the difference between sound and noise is. Because sound travels about 4.5 times as fast underwater, meaning that we cannot localize the sounds that we hear under water. Later, Kel showed us DCP’s “mini-MVA” and the way the spaced hydrophones allow researchers to regain stereo sound. It was interesting to learn more about ocean mammals communicate; some of us knew that they communicated, but learning some of the specifics really helped us understand it. It was exciting to learn about how their adaptations allow them to produce, receive and interpret sound effectively.  


For our morning break, some of us snorkeled – with a barracuda! It was low tide, so with the rocks exposed, we couldn’t see as much. It was interesting to see where there are more fish (calmer areas) and where there are fewer (more surf). After lunch, it was class time again and we discussed sampling methods! It was nice to see research methods applied to a particular area of study. Sometimes methods are presented in such a broad way that it can be hard to relate to it; discussing field studies of marine mammals specifically helped us hone our questions. Before this discussion, it was hard to imagine choosing one sampling method – not now! After this, we worked on un-sorted photo-ID, helping Kel and Nicole process photographs from this past March. Some were much trickier than yesterday’s practice! We got to know Romeo (#10) well, as well as Swoosh (#36) , Tina (#14) and Buster (#04). Romeo’s calf still had fetal folds! Maybe we’ll see some of these dolphins in the field ourselves! 


Some of us watched a portion of BBC’s “Spy in the Pod;” watching how the crew utilized “spy creatures” to keep up with the dolphins during filming was cool. And of course, seeing new (to us) dolphin behavior was cool too, like the dolphins creating mud plumes to disorient their prey. At sunset, it was another dock BBQ. Before dinner was ready, we spied southern stingrays! After our yummy dinner, we relaxed with the film, “We Bought A Zoo.” 


Until tomorrow,

The PEDuncadunks