This is Bridget Jones reporting from Mikura Jima

A goofball of a day  dolphin tour arm rain

I had been having a trouble free field season so far. Until today. I did it to myself again this time; I had just recently written an email to Kathleen giving her an update on progress here in Mikura. “Everything is running like a well oiled machine” I wrote. Doh! I jinxed myself again! There was clearly no oil involved in my latest boat trip. Today was a Bridget Jones day – awkward and ill-fated. It went down more like a circus act than a research trip. To begin with, someone came knocking on my door 10 minutes before I was about to leave for the pier letting me know that there was a van out front waiting for me! The trip was pushed up a half an hour, and I missed the message letting me know this. So it was a rush to get out the door. I had enough time to make sure all of the equipment was ready to go, but I overlooked the fact that the big camera screen was not flipped open all the way inside the housing, so I only had the little screen to look at underwater to tell if the camera was in Record or not. This meant that I ended up with a lot of extra footage of me climbing onto the boat, the sky, the seabed, passengers’ fins, etc. Check out the above picture for a completely hopeless ‘action shot’ of Souji-san’s arm holding a rope! How useful! To make matters worse, it was pouring down rain all day, so visibility in air and in the water was just about zero. The waves were so high and so dangerous that we turned back after reaching Ebiiso. And then after backtracking and getting to Numurine, we turned around again! The waves were even worse on the west side of the island! So we ended up putting around by the pier. We did see some dolphins, but after 12 water entries, I managed only about 1 minute of video. Unfortunately, I have a lot of extra footage of nothing – just waiting for a dolphin to come into view. A waste of precious tape! What’s more, the boat was full – 8 passengers. This made it just that more challenging to deal with the big lumbering MVA. And to top things off, I managed to throw myself overboard on one entry BUT I FORGOT MY MASK! So there I was floundering and sputtering in the water while the captain fetched me my mask. Honestly. I must have looked like a comedy act out there. We did see dolphins though, so that is something. At least I think they were dolphins. They could have been stingrays, or naval submarines. The visibility was that bad… Anyhow, let’s hope tomorrow brings me some better luck! It certainly can’t get any worse! (Oh no, did I just jinx myself again?! When will I learn…)