Yesterday our lecture was on the sperm whales, they mainly eat giant squid but mistake plastic bags and other items of plastic as food and then their stomach fills up with plastic waste matter that can eventually kill them. The whales are also often hit by large ships that travel very fast across the med. We also watch a film about the illegal use of driftnets. They can be up to 30 mtrs deep and 20 km long, they catch everything that swims into them.
Here is the timetable we follow each day. >
Today,is our last day in the Amvrakikos Gulf, and once again we are going out on the boat to try to find the Bottlenose dolphines. Today we followed C transect, on our way there we saw a dead turtle. We all wanted to know what it had died of and Joan said he thought it had died of old age. Sho, who is training to be a vet, wanted to take it back to base to disect it. We went back to our look-out section on the boat to continue spotting, as we traveled on we saw the dolphines. There were about 8 within our focal group so we followed them making observations at all time about the conditions and continued to look to see if any more dolphines had come to join us.
A dolphine was bow riding - right beside me!
Below is Kimberley, Sho and myself - looking out for dolphines.
Dolphines on the horizon
Joan has been so very patient teaching us all about this wonderful project, at the same time he also is training Ioannis so he will be able to run a similar project in the future. When you step on the boat Joan becomes so very focused calling out instructions when the dolphines are around us.
This afternoon we will be cropping the photos that Joan and Ioannis have taken this morning - then before dinner at 9pm we will have time to pack.
I will complete my blog after I get back to the UK - Joan says he will also send us some more photos that he has taken of our week here and also links to research further on the Bottlenose Dolphines.
This has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I am so grateful to both The Jane Goodall Foundation and The Earthwatch Institute for the opportunity to take part in this project - thank you