Ah, air travel

Sorry about the delay everyone!  It was quite an adventure getting back here & then being able to settle in.  Delta decided to make an itinerary change & not inform me…Which wouldn’t have been the end of the world, except that my new flight was scheduled to arrive in Salt Lake City AFTER my connecting flight took off!  They quickly saw that this was not going to work & although they were very gracious in booking my new flights first class, it wasn’t until the following day.  So, I waited in Ft.

Last trip of the season

I can’t quite believe it, but I’ve just returned from my last boat trip of 2006.  We ended on a nice round trip #55, our most trips in a single year thus far.  Sunset suddenly feels like an Alaskan winter, touching down at 19:23.  Because of this, it was off the dock at 15:39 and as we left the harbor a spotted eagle ray leapt out of the water, twice.  They are such beautiful creatures, definitely one of my favorites. 

A great day

I don’t want to dwell on the fact that I can’t believe it is already halfway through September, but I’m sorry, I CAN”T BELIEVE IT IS HALFWAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER!  When did this happen?  And I don’t think anyone asked my permission….    Before today’s boat trip I had a brief add-on discussion with passengers.  Then it was off to snorkel at 3 Sister Rocks….I decided to take advantage since it will be awhile before my next opportunity.  Weird.  That’s all I can say. 

Last presentation of the year

Today was rough.  And I am tired!  So, I think I’ll keep this field report short 😉    I headed over to the hotel property an hour & a half before boat departure for the usual DCP presentation.  It was a great Q & A session with passengers.  This week’s group may be small, but they are excited & engaged, which is so encouraging to be around.  Then it was out to sea & what seas they were.  Never unsafe, but at times uncomfortable, we saw dolphins at our northern-most range at 16:51. 

Deja vu?

With respectful thoughts of 5th anniversary of 9/11, today passed with amazing ordinariness.   But we were still enthused by the dolphins!  We saw dolphins at 16:24 (a whole minute later than yesterday) and were able to observe Romeo (#10), Split Jaw (#22), Billy (#64), Nemo (#76) and un-named #78 & 80, nearly the same individuals as yesterday.  In the last two days I have recorded over 70 minutes of video, so I know I’ll be busy logging tapes once I return to Anchorage. 

A fabulous first day!

The day’s real work began with the usual Meet & Greet.  We have just 8 passengers who will be with us for the week, with additional individuals joining us for various days.  Because the sun is setting much earlier now (19:30), we left the dock at 14:30.  At 16:23 we saw a group of spotted dolphins; this is extremely early to see them, but we were pleasantly surprised to continue watching them until well after 17:00.  During this time we had two water entries & observed Romeo (#10), Split Jaw (#22), Lil’

Back to Bimini

Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I do a reasonable amount of flying each year & am a pretty comfortable airline passenger.  While I never felt that my life was in danger, I can safely say that my flight to Nassau was the worst weather I have ever flown through.  Through the pouring rain & consistent lightning, the pilot announced, about 5 minutes outside of Nassau, that it was possible the airport would be closed by the time we made our approach. 

A morning field report

Can I start with the painfully overdone question of, “How the heck is it already September?!”  I truly cannot believe it.  Yesterday I had a successful cleaning mission, a quick for-fun boat trip, and drinks out with some friends.  This morning I did some final organizing, had a quick brunch with friends and now I am headed to the airport for my short flight to Nassau.  There I will meet Kristy Beard & we’ll be gathering typical DCP video & acoustic data at Dolphin Encounters Sunday through Thursday. 

More data

Well, this will be a short, boring field report.  Today I did some data & continued packing.  I basically finished packing so that all I need to do tomorrow is clean the apartment.  Exciting, huh?    Until then, 

Ernesto who?

Well, for those storm chasers out there, I’m sorry to report that Tropical Storm-would-be-Hurricane Ernesto didn’t bring much of a bang.  With the boats safe in the mangroves we sat nice & cozy while Ernesto passed by.  There were some good gusts here & there and some decent rain bands, but really, it was just a day long storm.  Which means that everyone who has been through a hurricane before was quite pleased.  If only disappointed that the weather was lousy & visibility will be bad for the next week.