20 April 2011

Back on track!

Dolphins of Greece expedition is back on track! Today we carried out our first survey in the Amvrakikos Gulf. The conditions were perfect; a beautiful sunny day, perfect sea state conditions... but wait... something was missing... onboard we were only two!, myself and Miriam (our new research assistant from Barcelona). Unfortunately, for the first team of the present research season we had no volunteers. Since we have a minimum effort coverage to do per month and there are not so many days left of April, we were forced to go out anyway to make sure that our data was consistent with previous years. It would have been much better to have more observers (earthwachers) onboard, but despite the reduced crew number we managed to collect useful data.

I personally could not wish a better start. We were for close to two hours with a group of 7 adult bottlenose dolphins, which spent most of their time feeding at the surface on a school of sardines, permanently surrounded by a large flock of seagulls that were diving around the dolphins as "Kamikazees" to catch their valuable prey. An old friend was there leading the group; MAX, a well-known dolphin which I named after my youngest nephew ;-), identified for the first time back in 2001. It felt good to be back on track after the Winter's break. Let's hope that no more teams have to be cancelled because of low volunteer recruitment and that from now on we will be able of sharing this amazing experience and much more with all of you.

This is the first post of year 2011. From now on "Dolphins in a bottle" will be bringing you news and experiences from Earthwatch's Dolphins of Greece expedition. Do not forget to check it out regularly for the latest updates. And remember, we need you! so if you are considering to join our project, do not think twice, your can make the difference!


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