Japan Wrap-up

Ongoing work and what it means. I am now at home in California and mostly recovered from my jetlag – it always hits me harder when I travel east. My gear is mostly unpacked and I have begun sorting some of my data files and videotapes. I won't get to work much on my data from the bottlenose dolphins around Mikura because I will soon begin packing for the Bahamas. Data collection is an integral part of my work, my research.

Last Day

Presenting in Japanese … My presentation to the students and professors for the Faculty of Bioresources at Mie University went quite well. I was able to get my meaning across even if I did not know all the correct Japanese words. I used a tape of summary behaviors from spotted dolphins, dusky dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. I updated everyone on my summer field work – basically referring to the summary I posted a few days ago. And, I showed an example of video that I collected this summer.

Last Day in Tokyo

A muggy weekend … I spent today catching up with a few friends and updating them on what life was like on Miyake after the ash and steam eruptions. I also shared with them details of my summer field season. It was a relaxing day though Tokyo is much more humid and hot ('mushiatsui') than Miyake and Mikura Islands. I also spent a bit of time planning my presentation for Tuesday. I leave tomorrow for Mie and Mie University. I am riding something new … the Shinkansen Bullet Train. I am looking forward to the experience.


The ferry ride … I have been in Tokyo for one day now. The city is quite big and just abit imposing after living for two months on two small islands. I have visited with a few colleagues and exchanged information and details of my summer research at Mikura. I also spent some time picking up a few 'omiyage' for some of the senchoo and other friends on Mikura and Miyake.

'Omiyage' are souveniers … and very important expressions of thanks in the Japanese culture. I will send them off tomorrow morning.

Travel to Tokyo

Today is a holiday … I am taking the ferry ('Sutoretia-maru') in to Tokyo this afternoon. The trip is about 6 hours long and I arrive at Takeshiba Port before 9:00 PM. The day is hot and muggy ('mushiatsui') and the sea is calm. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Marine Day than being on the water. I'll write more after I get to Tokyo …

Inquisitive Behavior

Most animals display some similarities. Inquisitive behaviors don't always have to include or be related to people; dolphins can seem curious about their environment or other animals. During my research on both the Bahamian spotted dolphins and the bottlenose dolphins around Mikura, I catelogued inquisitive behaviors from other activities (e.g., social, forage) primarily to separate behaviors directed at humans, or related to human behavior, from other actions.

A Summary of Effort

Summer 2000 – Mikura Dolphin Research I spent 20 days in June and 15 days in July on Mikura Island with the potential to go to sea to observe dolphins. Data were collected in the form of video records and a written sighting record for where and when dolphins were observed. Dolphins were observed in all locations around Mikura with many sightings below Nango or at Otaura. I had 14 boat trips resulting in 32 hours and 15 minutes of effort spent searching for dolphins.

On Miyake – Oyama & Views

Shipping Research Gear & Observing Closed Roads due to Ash It will take a few days for my gear to get to Mie University but it is much easier than me trying to travel with three large cases of camera and snorkeling gear plus my personal gear through Tokyo to Mie by train. The train ride to Mie from Tokyo will be 3-4 hours with two changes. The ferry ride from Miyake to Tokyo is about 6 hours. Miyake Island is about 160 km south of Tokyo. I am staying in Ako on Miyake with the Yamamoto family.

To Miyake Island

Gusty Winds & Choppy Seas I rode the Ebine-maru from Mikura Island's port (see accompanying photo) to Miyake Island today. The sea looked much like what you see in this photo. Lots of 'shiranami'. I looked, but did not see any dolphins on the 45 minute boat ride. I did, however, see dolphins in the morning (~7:56 AM) … they were swimming counter clockwise around Mikura and past the port. It was good to see the dolphins one last time this summer, even though it was not from under water.

Packing and Preparations

Saying 'Thank You.' I still have about 10 days in Japan for this summer but that is time needed for administrative responsibilities and other chores. I will spend today cleaning my gear and packing it for travel across Japan and then across the Pacific Ocean. I will also visit the various senchoo and Kenkyukai and Kyoukai leaders to express my gratitude for their support and consideration of me while I stayed on Mikura this summer. 'Osewani narimasu' means 'thank you for taking good care of me'.