sun rose at ~5:30 AM. I was excited to head over to see the dolphins but had to
make sure the camera focus was set and the O-rings properly lubed. We met at
the water taxi at 6:45 and I was in the water by 7 AM. Several dolphins hung
close to the platform as I donned by fins and mask and turned the camera on. I
slipped into the water into the center of a dolphin tribunal! I made sure there
were no leaks into the housing and when I looked up, I was face-to-face with
Paya! Apparently, I have no personal space where Paya or the younger dolphins
are concerned. After a minute or two, the dolphins all were off to their own
interactions. At about 10 minutes into the session, Hector and Han decided my
fins were the best thing ever! They mouthed them and pulled at them and were
just right at my feet continually, it seemed. Gracie brought Tilly over to meet
me and Mika had Polly and Mac and swam by me a few times. The “new” young
animals range in age from 3 months to about 1.5 yrs old. They were quite
inquisitive and swam circles around me and at me, though we had no games of
“chicken” today. I did see much pec fin rubbing and nudging one another.
recorded almost 30 minutes before 7:30 AM and then went back at 9:30 for a
second session. Hector, Han, Paya and Ronnie were engaged in other activities
outside of the main pool area. So, I had the second session with only 15
dolphins – mostly the adult females and their offspring. It was a blast! The
youngsters were quite inquisitive and swam very close to the camera – putting
their face next to the front plate, buzzing me and checking everything out. I
saw all of the adult females a few times: Cedeña
has a new notch in her dorsal fin, but all her other marks are the same. There
were numerous whistles and clicks and buzzes.
coming to RIMS, John and I updated the MVA2 with a different set of hydrophones
and repositioned a camera into the housing. The latter required a new control
knob. Everything worked great! And, the audio sounds awesome!
have more data collection sessions tomorrow and will also deploy the SM2M
passive acoustic recorder tomorrow (made by www.wildlifeacoustics.com). We’ll
leave the SM2M deployed for 4-5 days and record audio day and night to see if
there is a pattern to the dolphin vocal behavior.
& the DCP RIMS 2013 team