Peanut butter – no jelly please

Great conditions – sleepy dolphins

I had two glorious boat trips today. The weather was fantastic – probably the best day I have had so far. We saw plenty of dolphins, but they were rather sleepy so there was not much action. Kitte did ride the bow of our boat together with Smile – but that was about all the activity we saw today. The water is still infested with jellyfish. On the west side of the island we ran across a jellyfish-like floaty thing that looked an awful lot like a Portuguese man-o’-war.

Jellyfish soup

Smacked in the head
I had a special research trip this morning – together with Ichiro sensei and Nozomi chan. Instead of the usual 2 hours, we were out on the water for 3, which gave us much more time with each dolphin group. There were huge numbers of dolphins on the west side of the island socializing in the sizeable surf. I have over 45 minutes of video data. The visibility was pretty terrible – the red plankton is gone, but in its place is an army of jellyfish.

Radioactive plankton of doom!

It’s warm in the water….
too warm maybe…. It was calm again today – it has been almost one full week of pleasant weather and nice conditions. I had a morning boat trip – we saw plenty of dolphins, but the visibility was super crazy bad. The reason for this soon became obvious – a giant red phytoplankton bloom has made its way to the west side of the island. The water is littered with chunks of plankton and seaweed and lord knows what else.

Jump for joy

Hack and fly Today’s boat trip was fantastic. The sun was shining and the water was almost not-freezing! My first few entires were close to the pier as we followed a large group of socializing mothers with their calves. #161 Koshakure was there again (she is everywhere this year), together with #145 – Y-chan. Dokkiri was babysitting Y-chan’s 1 year old calf while Y-chan was busy swimming circles around me. At one point, she started to open her mouth. I immediately started to think what this meant – what kind of signal was she trying to send.

Waves are just swell!

Dolphins a’frolickin’ in the waves
IMAGES: #161 Koshakure with seaweed

Today’s boat trip did not yield as much video data as I would have liked. I blame it on the waves. The water was slightly rough on the east side of the island, which attracted large numbers of dolphins. Unfortunately, dolphins are way too super excited by waves to take much of an interest in humans. They spent their time surfing the waves into shore. They will swim a few hundred meters offshore, and then ride the waves into the shallows, sometimes leaping in the air.

Playful dolphins

Seaweed is way cool
Today’s boat trip was quite pleasant. The water was very calm, although one passenger was sick – there is always one sick passenger.

Dolphin magic wand

Marine mammals love the MVA
Today’s trip was somewhat of a bust. The water was quite murky and the dolphins were not interested. It was calm weather you see, and dolphins seem to slow down in calm weather. Only big waves seem to get them excited. Oh, and little frog – my underwater camera: it is a cross between a dolphin lighting rod and a magic wand.

Nice conditions and a new neonate

A young mother
The weather today was pretty nice. It was sunny all morning and in the afternoon, which heated up the water a degree or two. I had two boat trips and managed a fair amount of video. We came across a large group of resting dolphins today, and Nana-chan spotted a neonate in the group. The mother was identified as Hibiware! Hibiware is a young female – only 9 years old or so – and this is her first calf. We saw a lot of her last year together with her friends Ringo-chan and Dokkiri.

Jet engine dolphins

Neonates and loud adults
Today’s afternoon trip was very pleasant – the weather was fairly nice, and the water was calm. #060 (Kanzashinko) stopped by for a visit with her neoante. (pictured above) She brought her neonate close to the camera on several occasions, and oddly enough, the neonate was not too bothered by all the fuss. Perhaps she has inherited her mother’s fearless nature.

In another entry, we came across some dolphins engaged in some strange social behavior.

Dolphin social tension

A rainy day
June is usually a rainy month here on Mikura, and yesterday was a fine example of the kind of weather I can expect in the coming weeks. We ran across rainy patches all around the island. We had a few standard water entries, but the highlight of the trip was the last encounter. We observed a large group of adult and subadult males and females engaged in some energetic social activity.