Mr. Typhoon has still not arrived, but the seas are too rough for dolphin watching.

A day of data, dawdling, and DVDs

 misty mikura valley The typhoon has still not arrived, but the seas have certainly gotten a lot rougher. There were a couple of boats going out this morning, and I almost got on one of them, but we decided that we did not want to risk damaging our equipment by taking the camera out on seas this rough. Having the camera crash into the side of the boat, or accidentally gouging a passenger with one of the hydrophone arms was not something we wanted to have happen. So I went to the school again to help out with the English class. It was actually a rather strange lesson today. The English textbook that the class is using included a little dialogue about the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I had to read this dialogue out loud to the class as we worked on pronunciation and vocabulary. I found it unexpectedly difficult (not that I let on). The Second World War was a terrible time in recent human history, and tickling the back of my mind was the fact that I was an American reading to Japanese school children about one of the worst atrocities this planet has ever seen – something our two countries were both touched by. Although over half a century separates us from this period in history, it still distresses me to think about it. Somehow watching the children’s faces today as Tanaka-sensei and I chatted about those two days in August 1945 made me feel a little sad, even more so given the reality that our grandfathers might well have faced each other in combat all those years ago. Children do not understand why war is necessary, and it is difficult if not impossible to explain it to them – an important fact that I wish the leaders of the world would keep in their hearts when deciding on matters of war.

I worked on my dolphin ID database today – a way for me to identify the Mikura dolphins while doing the video logs. Although ID-ing dolphins in Mikura is easier than in the Bahamas due to the prominence of scars and cookie cutter shark bites, it is still difficult to get familiar with all 160 dolphins in a short amount of time. I hope my little video database will help. We also watched a DVD last night – I can’t work all the time!

We will see what happens tomorrow with the weather. Everyone is bracing themselves for the typhoon (battening the hatches if you recall from the last report…)
Until tomorrow!