14 September 2008

Kalamos, 7-13 September

I have had an amazing time here in Kalamos with the Tethys team. We have been such a lucky group, seeing a common dolphin, two different sightings of bottlenose dolphins and a sea turtle swimming along the surface of the water within the first three days of our week! Even on the days when there have been no dolphin sightings, it was brilliant riding around on the boat and spending some time in the tavernas in the different villages. Carrying out the research on the boat has been valuable experience for the future, and the work back at the house although hard at times (identifying the dorsal fins!) has been very enjoyable. The social atmosphere of the house has been a very happy one with a lot of time snorkelling in the sea, playing volleyball and talking into the night over dinner and drinks. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would love to come back and do the project again in future years. You cannot help but smile when you are spending time on such a beautiful island and working with such amazing animals. Thank you to Stefano and Susie for making my week so enjoyable. I hope to see you again and that all of your hard work continues to be successful.

Rachael, U.K.


Non è semplice spiegare in poche righe una settimana trascorsa sull’isola di Kalamos, ma è stata sicuramente un’esperienza unica. Vivere a stretto contatto con persone straordinarie per una settimana può solo lasciarti un ricordo indelebile. Abbiamo formato un team di 5 ragazze niente male direi e, anche se la lingua risulta un ostacolo per chi come me non è abituata a parlare in inglese, siamo riuscite a collaborare, ridere e scherzare per tutto il tempo trascorso insieme. Posso scrivere un grazie enorme a Susie e Stefano, innanzitutto per la loro professionalità e per tutto quello che ci hanno trasmesso, ma soprattutto per la generosità e la capacità di farci sentire a nostro agio come in una grande famiglia. Il secondo giorno mi sembrava di essere qui già da una vita! Una casa accogliente, tutti con compiti distribuiti e tutti che collaborano in pulizie e nella preparazione della cena... neppure a casa mia collaboriamo così bene! Non posso certo dire che sia stato tutto semplice, anzi, si lavora parecchio, sveglia presto, occhi puntati sul mare alla ricerca di qualsiasi cosa si muova, ma le soddisfazioni sono talmente tante che tutto diventa un piacere! Straordinario, straordinari i delfini, straordinario (e cervellotico!) tutto il lavoro che si nasconde dietro quello che sembra soltanto una ricerca in mare! Taglia, confronta e identifica i delfini… c’è da impazzire! Ma poi c’è il tempo libero che ovviamente si passa sulla spiaggia e con un mare così non puoi certo tirarti indietro… un mare talmente limpido e calmo che invoglia a nuotare all’infinito! E poi bagno notturno con il plancton illuminato dalla luna che fa brillare tutto quello che si muove!

Erica, Italy


It has been a very exciting and eventful week for everyone as we had lots of encounters with the marine life in the area. This includes the rare common dolphin (on the first day!), several bottlenose dolphins, swordfish and even two sea turtles. I found the experience from working on a research project extremely interesting and rewarding. It was eye opening to see how much effort and dedication the team put in to collecting the data, and just how passionate they were about it. The atmosphere in the evening after all the hard work from during the day was very relaxed, giving you the chance to really appreciate the beauty of Kalamos Island and to enjoy the company of the other volunteers. Thank you, I have had a wonderful week and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a demanding but rewarding conservation project.

Samantha, U.K.


Just an emotions' river:

There aren’t word to describe how I feel…
I have to live the place were I found happiness and rest
I have to live the place where paece and quietness rules…

Into a mirror I saw the power of nature, behind a glass I saw the sands beating with the waves, under the fog of the myth I saw the islands rising from waters.
Into a breath I saw a dolphin whispering his freedom,
in a turtle’s eyes I saw all the life of the sea.

This morning a swordfish was cutting the sea and like a knife he reached my heart to remain.
In just a week I heard birds singing at the sunset, waves rise with the wind and saw fishes jump out of the water, riminding us how powerful a little creature can be, dolphins reach the sky and shine under the sun. Fish fly over the sea’s line…

For all this things I have to be thankful. First of all to Susie and Stefano for guiding me in this amazing adventure, to the other people here with me sharing with me the many emotions of the week, to the nature, the only thing I believe in and that never disappoint me, and to dolphins, to exist, to make me feel alive with only a breath, to give me so many and deep emotions, to make me hope and to made me learn that, maybe, life with them has an aim…

So thanks to this amazing project that made me feel alive once more, because there’s nothing more beautiful than the sea, if you really live it, as we've done this week!

I really think that I'm gonna cry every time, while opening my eyes I will found the world where I live so grey and so distant from all this… the sea and the peace…

Thank you so much to everybody.

Ramona, Italy


It is so difficult to write about this days in Kalamos with the Ionian Dolphin Project, I felt so many emotions that I could never imagine when I decided to come here… I really feel like at home here, there is a special atmosphere, ‘our researchers’ Stefano and Susie treat us like friends in the free time and are very patient with us during the work. I feel as I have known them and the other girls who are here with me (Ramona, Erica, Rachael and Sammy) for years, but I staid with them only a few days. Yes, I don’t speak a lot, but this is my nature and my English is not so good… but I really feel well here and with them.

Irene, Italy

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