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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Even when we’re not working we’re working!

Hi Im Krissy and I’ve just finished my first week as a volunteer on the marine project. Tuesday was my first day on the boat. The sea was very rough that day so while trying not to fall off the boat, we tried to spot dolphins. Covering different angles with our concentrated eyes we tried to spot a splash, a fin or anything indicating a dolphin's presence, but we didn’t have any luck. We kept looking and looking but they just wouldn’t show themselves so we gave up, instead we would proceed to a snorkeling transect to look for turtles, reef fish and other megafauna.

-- Dolphins show up when we least expect them --

A bit down about the fact that I didn’t see any dolphins, I started to prepare myself for the swim. I put on my mask and snorkel, but just as I was trying to get my fins on, Shafii, the boat captain shouted ‘dolphins’. Quickly we all threw our equipment aside and got into ‘active modus’ again. As we were looking for the forms and cameras we needed, we were surrounded by at least 15 bottlenose dolphins. We had been looking for hours and hadn’t seen any dolphins but just when we had given up and put all our stuff away, there they were. Was this just luck? I think not!!

-- Spotting dolphins on our weekend off! --

At the weekend a group of dolphins teased us again. We crossed the channel in our smaller boat to pick up 2 new volunteers, Jayne and Noel, from Shimoni. We had no event log, sighting form or good camera what so ever. All we had was a small camera with the worst quality you could think of, but there we were, trying to get photos for photo ID on our day off. Instead of showing themselves during the week , they decided to make us work during the weekend!! Seeing those dolphins was amazing but as we were on the small boat, we didn’t have a lot of fuel and so had to say goodbye pretty quickly.

-- A new laid back approach to dolphin surveys?! --

Wow, the timing dolphins have is amazing! Maybe we should change our survey tactic!! Should we, instead of dedicatedly searching for our swimming friends, just chill out at sea, lay in our bikinis, bake in the sun and let them come to us as they seem to show themselves when we’re not concentrated and prepared? It sounds great…. However, for now we’ll just keep on looking!!!