The seas were rough and the winds up again, but the dolphins engaging. Today was an exceptionally good day, but also a tiring one. We had to be finished by 4:45 pm for a 5 pm departure. There was a staff event for the DE team tonight. Still, I was able to get 3 sessions in today and Mats et al got 4 sessions in with Elvis. The first two sessions for me had first Nina and then Jake wearing the pec pac with MOSART tag, too.
Several neat behaviors were documented today. The morning was again clear and peaceful. Our taxi ride was a bit slower than expected. And, when we arrived to the ferry terminal we found that there was no guest boat to DE, but a separate boat came out for us and we were able to get to the dolphins by 9 am! We were very greatful since our sessions were simply awesome!
I had a 30 min session with Princess, Abaco, Chippy & her calf and saw so many neat behaviors. Abaco was barrel rolling and whistling.
We collected MVA, MOSART and ELVIS data! The day began a bit later that yesterday … a bit of a morning rest was called for for all of us. Then, I was able to get MVA data from two back-to-back sessions. I observed the three adult males for 30 min and then Nina, Cacique, Soca and Aunty V for the second session of 25 min. All before the first set of guests … it was absolutely CLEAR underwater visbility which made for great videos.
The wind died down, and a morning shower rinsed all, briefly. We were up and on the move before 6 am today to be able to catch the staff ferry to Dolphin Encounters. Mats and his team buried the Elvis mat of hydrophones while I prepped the array and Christer prepared the MOSART tag. Our adrenaline was enough caffeine for us this morning … especially since the weather cooperated.
Both of my sessions today were with the three adult males: Jake, Fatman, McGyver. And, for the first session, Jake and McGyver were captivated by Princess.
Three research projects currently ongoing at DE for DCP Our day began early with our trip to DE. Our team was one member short because Kristy returned to the USA for classes. We had two sessions for MVA data collection. The first was with Nina, her calf Cacique, Soca and Aunty V. Before the end of the session, Nina was swimming closer to me with Cacique on my side of her body. I also docuemtned Cacique nursing from his mom.
Our second session was with Dot and her calf and Chippy and her calf.
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.
Kathleen joins John and Kristy and brings scientists from Sweden, too The underwater visibility was not great but Kristy still was able to collect some video data with the MVA. John was able to capture several images of the facility as well.
Kathleen arrived to overlap for a few days with Kristy and then finish up this month's field season. Also joining DCP this trip are Mats Amundin, Christer Blomqvist, Josefin Starkhammar, and Sofia Dahl representing Linköping University and Kolmårdens Djurpark in Sweden.
Due to a mid-day meeting, we didn't go to DE today MaryEllen and I did more exploring of downtown Nassau today. We checked out the Pirate Museum, some other museums, and shopping. There are so many things to do in Nassau, and we ran out of time to visit them all!! John arrived today, to do some filming for DCP and DE, and MaryEllen leaves tomorrow, so our focus will shift back towards data collection for the next couple of weeks.
Today's data includes footage of another calf! Twice today I swam with Soca, Miss Merlin, Nina, and Nina's calf. Nina and her calf came closer to me and the MVA than Dot and her calf have – he even came up to me by himself once or twice! I saw a lot of bubbles from Nina, also, both while she was with her calf and while the calf was separated from her. Our afternoon was spent wandering around (and getting lost in) Atlantis, scouting out possibilities for teenagers and adults to explore on upcoming trips.
A nice afternoon at Ardastra Gardens & Zoo This morning I was able to collect data from the older male dolphins (Jake, Fatman, and McGyver) and from Dot and her calf. After two half-hour data collection sessions, MaryEllen and I continued to explore all that Nassau has to offer.