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, November 3, 2011

Sun, sea and communal bathing!

Two weeks ago, me and my fellow volunteers joined island like in Mkwiro, for our first week of marine. It was a completely different experience to Shimoni, having the beach on our doorstep and communally bathing in the sea!
We began the week learning about dolphin identification and behavior so we could spot them from the boat. Tuesday we were unleashed onto the seas to put our knowledge into practice and were lucky enough to see dolphins within minutes! They were leaping from the water, and after a short mechanical problem, we were hot on their tails! It was fantastic to see them up so close to the boat. Later that day we snorkeled for the first time in the Indian Ocean, seeing some pretty amazing fish and corals. 
A bottlenose dolphin, coming closer to salute to volunteers on board the Bardan.
 Also that week we were lucky enough to have spotted tiger sharks, circling a humpback whale carcass – an amazing but terrifying experience! We also had an exceptionally hot day, with an exceptionally non-existent breeze, but even this was a great day when we followed one pod of dolphins for 2 hours and cooled down afterward with a snorkel.
We finished off the week with a day on base, and a fun Friday fry-up of hash browns and eggs. In the morning we did a land-based survey, worked on identifying the fins of individual dolphins and entering some of the research data. After our lunchtime swim, we went to the village for chai and a chapatti (tea and bread) – all in all a lovely day, and an incredible week!