Two Days in One!

On the water yesterday (20 June)

We were on the water in the afternoon yesterday. The first two groups of dolphins were NOT interested in us. With long surface intervals they were likely resting. We watched them from the surface for 20 minutes and attempted two entries when a few individuals came closer to the boat.

After leaving this group, we continued our counter-clockwise path around Mikura passing Motone and Yokozukane before seeing the next group … a large and spread group of more than 25 dolphins. They were in a few subgroups and seemed to be engaged in low-level social activity and some play. Underwater I saw a male subadult group … not as intimidating as a few days ago in their actions. We also saw a first time mom! That is … we saw a new calf with a female that had been classified as a subadult last year!

Oh yes, and an update … remember that social, aggressive interaction I described from Saturday? Well, it was actually all males! The dolphin being 'beaten up' was actually a sub-adult male!

Today I am working on more identifications from my videotapes and organizing data sheets. I will coordinate with Ayami-san who is a pro at dolphin identifications. She worked with the research group from Mikura for three years. I have 2.5 hours of video now to analyze … enough to keep me very busy!

Even though today dawned cloudy (if that is possible!), I took my morning walk to greet the day. The birds sound really good when it is quiet and the day is just beginning. In the evenings, the island is also quiet and we can hear the cries of the Katsuodori … a sea bird that is returning to roost on the island after the sun has set. If seen briefly on a starry night, they resemble odd shooting-stars. Until, that is, one realizes that these 'stars' have wings and make funny noises!

Till the next time.