Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Bad Day On The Ocean Is Better Than A Good Day In The Office

I arrived on base in Mkwiro on Saturday afternoon after an adventurous trip from Mombasa, and from that point on it’s been a hard, fast and fun learning experience…

Day 1: camp training with exciting items like fire extinguisher training, oxygen tank checking, radio training, safety lectures and practice scenarios, and the list goes on!

Day 2: the real fun began… we started the day with lectures and tutorials regarding the on-going marine research, and then into identification of different marine mammals and turtles, and methodology of the research. A swim test was also thrown in for good measure before lunch, under threat of otherwise needing to wear highly fashionable fluorescent orange life vests for 2 weeks.

Day 3: our first day on the water, and what a day! Early on we found bottlenose dolphins, and then the highlight, a pod of almost 100 spinner dolphins! These fantastic mammals stayed with us for around 30 minutes, playing, socializing, jumping, surfing the waves, and bow riding! It was an amazing experience to watch. We ended the day with an ‘exam’ to test our identification skills as well as our knowledge of the methodology and practice of the research.

Day 4: again early on in the day we had our first encounter, this time humpback dolphins, followed shortly by bottlenose dolphins!

I could continue, but there is too much to say… My first week has been amazing, seeing the major species we would expect to see in the region, as well as spotting a few elusive turtles! I can definitely say doing marine research is much much more fun than a normal working day. I have a new saying; a bad day on the ocean is better than a good day in the office!

May the adventure continue!