A morning trip to observe dolphins and record their behavior and sounds.
It was Robin & Joana's first trip to observe and swim with the bottlenose dolphins here at Mikura. Their reaction was easier to read on their faces … smiles like dolphins … than for them to express their thoughts in words. But, in a brief attempt, their words: 'We felt awe at seeing them in their world and at how graceful they moved, behaved. We have about 2-3 years experience observing animal behavior, dolphins included, but our notes after this trip were skimpy. 'We saw a dolphin!'' Joana & Robin's reaction to a first swim/observation of free-ranging dolphins is typical. We are clumsy, unskilled splitfins in the water while dolphins glide by and turn on a dime. Their (Robin & Joana's) notes on behavior will improve exponentially with experience in the wild. We saw the same adult female and calf group today that we did yesterday. And, we saw the young calf again! After the trip, we confirmed with Mai-chan (a researcher very skilled at knowing each dolphin), the mom's ID as #151, and the calf is her first ever. The dolphins were mostly resting today though some of the juveniles would bow-ride and sort of spyhop while porpoising. (Were they watching us?) We ranged between Shirataki and just east of the new port/pier for about two hours as we watched the group behavior and activity. Tonight we have a group of researchers visiting for supper and to share ideas about our various projects. It will also allow me to introduce Robin & Joana to all the other researchers (~5 students) and a few captains (senchoo) here on Mikura. Till tomorrow. Kathleen