Today was a very long and busy day, but we were rewarded with plenty of great data! Two boat trips today – lots of great video!  dolphin mother and calf Well I am exhausted! This was one long day – we managed to squeeze in 2 boat trips, with just enough time in between to get my equipment ready for the second trip. It was COLD in the water today – probably a result of all the rain we have had. For our fist trip, we were not long out of port before we stumbled across a large group of females with their calves. They were resting and milling about, and were tolerant of us swimming with the young ones, so we managed to get some great video of 3 of the new calves with fetal folds. The group was comprised of multiple mother-calf pairs together with some other adults and subadult females. Our second trip was also a success - #356 (Ringo-chan) spent a lot of time circle swimming around us. I can think of no other reason for the madcap circle swimming behavior other than the dolphins getting a kick out of watching us slow, awkward humans trying to keep up with them. I made myself seasick turning circles trying to keep up with Ringo-chan.

After the dolphin trips, I was foolish enough to join everyone at the local gym for a game of badminton. The gym is the center of all recreational activity on the island, and the islanders play a variety of sports throughout the week including badminton, volleyball, ping pong, and kendo (a Japanese sword-fighting sport). Even though we are on an island in the middle of nowhere, the gym is professionally outfitted! They even have an umpire’s chair for the volleyball net! With all this gym-activity, the locals are incredibly skilled at all of the sports I just mentioned. It came as no surprise to me that I got humiliated in badminton tonight by a girl who can not be more than 12 or 13. I have given up hope that I will find a game that will allow me show off my talents for the adoring local crowd. For now, they are tolerant of my woeful sporting skills…

Right, 2 boat trips and some intense badminton mean that I am exhausted. Off to bed!

-Justin

 

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