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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dabbling with Dolphins

First day out on the water. A bunch of people all newly introduced to each other, all excited to start this marine life research, all desperately hoping to see a cetacean on our first day. These hopes weren’t in vain. While the majority of the volunteers were out snorkeling, those of us who remained on the boat due to lack of snorkels and/or an attempt to tan our pasty bodies  were suddenly jerked out of our daydreams when the boat captain, Faridi pointed to a nearby point in the sea yelling “dolphins!”. I still remember how excited I was, we hastily called the snorkelers out of the water and rused to where Faridi was pointing. We were all frantically trying to catch our first glimpse of dorsal fin and we were all so happy when we saw it. It was awesome after the amount of reading and training we had done on these animals to see one in the flesh, up close, and best of all (for me anyway) in the wild where it naturally belongs.
Picture by C.Cavallo
 We soon counted four fins, a small pod but now in hindsight I realize how incredibly lucky we were to see that on our first day. Two of the dolphins, a mother and her calf, had very characteristic white/pink tips to their rostrums, very cool. The reality of the marine program is that sometimes there is a lot of sitting and watching but seeing nothing but endless blue. It is all so worth it though for those occasions when you see what you have been searching for. You feel you’re doing exactly what you came to Kenya to do. As GVI staff take photos for ID and sightings forms are filled out, you feel you’re part of something bigger, something that will go on long after you leave this little piece of coastal paradise on the Indian Ocean. It’s an awesome experience, an awesome memory to have, made all that much better by the people around you from all over the world who, in only 2-4 weeks, become good friends. I cant quite digest the fact that this experience on the marine program is over. The time goes so quickly. Ill miss the program and the people especially the stunning base on Wasini island that sees the most beautiful sunsets.. im excited for my next two weeks on the forest program with GVI-if these past couple of weeks have been anything to go by, they are going to be amazing

Snorkeling Picture by C.Cavallo