13 June 2008

Kalamos, June 8th, 2008

Today marks the completion of the first week of the 2008 season.

Although it started off with an incredible sighting of Fiocco, the rest of the week was less yielding. On Tuesday evening, while watching the beautiful sunset, we observed a group of dolphins midway between Kalamos and Lefkada. The sunset sighting got us pumped for the next few days of navigation, but sadly we were left with no results to feed our hunger until an exciting Thursday night.

On our way back from sightseeing in the village of Kalamos, we received a phone call from the manager of Episkopi that dolphins had been spotted on the channel between Mytikas and Episkopi. With our new found adrenaline, we raced back to the base in hopes of catching a glimpse of the dolphins before they left. Climbing out of the car and into the neighbour’s lawn, we battled wild plants (with a varying spike magnitude) and numerous spider webs (some of which we were unable to avoid :S). On top of the roof, we all intently looked at the channel for any sign of surface activity. To our luck, Marcel spotted two dolphins! And with that confirmation we were running back through the lawn and driving to the boat. Once out on the water, with the deceiving waves, we found the dolphin pair close to the Mytikas coast and we were thrilled that our jungle trek had been awarded.

The following day, Friday, also brought some exciting events to our plate. After four hours of navigation, we spotted three bottlenose dolphins at the Mytikas fish farm. The dolphins alternated between the fish farms and then coming to our boat to investigate. The relatively calm water allowed us to exchange looks with the curious animals as they passed under our boat. With approximately two hours of data collection, we had completely forgotten the week difficult weather and seemingly endless navigation. But that is the life of a researcher!

On Saturday, we sadly said goodbye to our first volunteers of the season and spent the rest of the day dealing with various errands, including a quick stop to Amvrakikos. In the evening, we made our way across the channel to Episokopi with our loads of groceries and admiring the beautiful sunset. Mesmerized by the picturesque sky, Marcel went to take a picture but accidentally hit his head on the boat and like a signal to cetaceans, Marina immediately spotted Spiti! We did not believe her at first, but soon it was clear that Spiti was passing by with two other dolphins. Quite a day!

With the house reaching perfection, and the dolphins welcoming us to their remarkable world, this season is looking to be an exciting and eventful one!

Shiva Javdan

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