Mikura sure can keep you on your toes. Some days can be pretty trying: like the day before yesterday (my inaugural run of the season) where I was nearly comatose after 2 boat trips in terrible weather. Other days (like today) make dolphin research feel like a holiday at a 5 star hotel where dolphins just jump out of the water begging to be filmed while you sip strawberry daiquiris by the poolside. Metaphorically speaking of course. I’ll set the scene: I slept in today (slept in until 6:30AM that is) and casually went over some data in the morning. I arranged a boat trip for the afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to get my gear together. I then slapped on the old wetsuit and walked leisurely down to the pier. The air temperature was perfect: not too hot, not to cold. I met the boat and we rode all of 200 meters under crystal clear blues skies on a calm, windless sea before stumbling across our first group of dolphins. Into the water we went – just two other passengers on the boat; both great swimmers, so nobody got in anybody else’s way. Even the dolphins seemed relaxed: they swam around us unhurriedly allowing me to take great footage of them, assuring that I would be able to ID them all later on. We didn’t even have to ride anywhere in the boat – different dolphins groups just seemed to be passing by us as we entered the water a total of 13 times. Wonderful! I wish all days were like this. The things is, pessimist that I am, I know that this day was the exception. Most of the rest of my time here will be spent begging for boat rides and battling my way through high seas and rain.
I’ve included a picture of an unidentified dolphin sporting a plastic bag on his dorsal fin. We always see dolphins carrying around seaweed or bags or other random objects. Often times they play games of keep away with them. This guy is obviously very proud of his big white bag and is saving it for playtime later on. Unfortunately, I have seen footage of a dolphin swallowing a plastic bag (who knows why). Luckily this guy was not looking too hungry, so let’s hope he doesn’t opt for the ‘bag lunch’. Get it? Bag lunch? Now that’s good funny.