Latest News From the Song of the Whale - 9.18.07

Tuesday 18th September 2007
Written by Mat

Image_6890_2After a very welcome night's sleep the team was up and about early with a lot to do and not much time. It turned into a waiting game as the spare parts sent away for the engine, which were to be ready early morning, arrived early afternoon. The engine was re-assembled and fired up first time. This could not be said for the new position transmitting system. Magnus was joined by two others, Mark and Russell, all three staring at a computer screen with puzzled looks as the system was not recognised again. After another read of the manual it was noticed that we had an incorrect cable. Armed with this new information, Mark and myself, headed out to look for a computer shop. It did not take as long to find as we thought but it was not a stock item. After returning with the bad news, the team re-assembled and tidied the boat ready for the morning and headed out to the town to say goodbye to Paul and Arda.

Wednesday 19th September 2007
Written by Evelyn

This morning we are up at the crack of dawn to prepare the boat to leave Rhodes. We do last minute tidying and making sure everything is secure as we are expecting a bit of wind as we leave. There are 8 of us on board now – Magnus, Claire, Mat, Bridget, Mark, Russell, Popi and myself. Popi is a Greek intern joining us for our final leg of this summer’s survey. She is from Rhodes so her mum sees us off with plenty of delicious pastries and cakes for the journey. From Rhodes we head south east to join the trackline. We have 12-13 hours travelling to do before we reach the start of the trackline. The weather is sunny and clear and not half as windy as was forecast so we have excellent sighting conditions. Hopefully this will last. We are all very keen to see some whales after such a disappointing last leg sightings wise. We have no sightings to report today unfortunately. However as night falls we detect some dolphins on the hydrophone.

Thursday 20th September 2007
Written by Claire

The fair weather persists throughout the night and we are up on the A-frame as soon as it is light enough. Shortly afterwards, we get our first sighting – a large group of striped dolphins. They are a long way away, and appear to be feeding at first – there is a lot of splashing and surging through the water, but as we get closer they become interested in us and come dashing towards the bow. There appear to be around 60 animals in total. They are also vocalising a great deal, and the hydrophone comes alive with whistles and clicks. They don’t stay around for too long, and afterwards all is quiet again for most of the day. Another smaller group of dolphins is spotted in the afternoon, but they are far away and outlined in silhouette against the sun so it is hard to see what species they are.

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