Good bye Mikura!

Thanks everyone! 
My farewell karaoke session went very well – you simply can’t go wrong with karaoke in my opinion. I sang a tearful rendition of My Way (the quintessential karaoke song) as my way of saying thank you to all of the Mikura folks. I spent all of the rest of the day on the 4th packing up my gear. On the 5th, I made my way down to the pier to catch the ferry back to Tokyo.

Ringo-chan is a camera hog

Still averaging a trip a day
Kathleen headed back to Tokyo today. It was a short but very productive visit – she went out on the boat 4 times, and took over the use of the array for me on one trip, which was a nice break. I felt a bit naked without the MVA though. I didn’t know what to do with my hands in the water without a camera! On yesterday’s trip, we ran into that same group of males and subadult females again.

Hectic few days

More great trips!
Kathleen, John and Sally (a teacher from the Pine Point School) arrived on Mikura on the 25th for a short visit. We had two boat trips yesterday and one today! Things have been hectic! I haven’t had much time to put together a field report, so here goes. Here are the highlights from the past few days:

I have awesome video of Shimibaa (#057) and her new calf! I’ve stuck a couple of pictures of this little cutie in this report.

Playing with fire

Another great trip today – with ~23 minutes of video recorded. We found a large group of adult and subadult males and females socializing by Subarune. They were hanging around a large patch of seaweed, going down for the occasional rub. At one point, one of the large males in the group became quite agitated – though he didn’t appear to be disturbed by the presence of the tourists in the water. It looked more like an internal dolphin disagreement.

Gruesome cookie-cutter shark bite!

Another new mom So I have had two trips in the last two days with one more scheduled for tomorrow morning. That will bring my total this year up to 34 (3 more than last season), and I still have a couple of weeks to go! Fantastic! I recorded lots and lots of video today and yesterday. Today’s trip was with Ichiro-sensei; a special trip with just dolphin researchers – 4 of us in total. It was kind of nice with just the researchers I must admit – the whole process seemed to run much more smoothly.

A new calf!

Fun in the sun. I had a boat trip scheduled for yesterday morning, but some rather nasty weather conditions ended up keeping all dolphin watching boats in port. The ferry was cancelled as well. Mother Nature decided to make up for this by providing us with a gorgeous day today! It was warm and sunny, and we saw plenty of dolphins! We encountered that same group with subadult females and adult males again! That is 3 times in one week which officially makes it a ‘trend’ in my mind.

Back in business

Action packed boat trips Two boat trips again today – I am officially back in business! Our morning trip was a bit boring – poor footage of resting dolphins off in the distance. But our afternoon trip was fantasmagorical! We had a very long session with a good sized group out by Mitsuana. You may recall from a few days ago that I reported on a mixed group of subadult females with adult males.

Landlubber ahoy

Still stuck on land Some nasty winds coming from the north/northwest have made the seas pretty rough around the island. The ferry was cancelled, and only a handful of brave souls went out for dolphin watching this morning. I stayed on land, which is just as well – in really rough seas the MVA becomes a serious hazard when trying to get on and off the boats.

The doldrums

This is my second day in a row without a boat trip. That is my longest stretch so far this season. I managed about 6 hours of video logs, which brings me up to date again. With no time on the water, things can get a bit melancholy around here. Oddly enough, I learned the word melancholy in Japanese last week: sokohakatonaku. It expresses the idea that one is neither here not there. Ho hum. I would rather be there (on a boat) than here (behind my computer).