The CSR field season has finally started. Despite one day spent in the harbour because of the strong wind, in our first week we totalled almost 49 hr of survey effort and 474 km of navigation. Of 18 sightings, most included striped dolphins, one a couple of sperm whales and finally, to our surprise, a fin whale spotted in relatively shallow waters just in front of the harbour of Sanremo. The start of this 2010 season could not have been better.
Cristina, Monica, Vittorio and Nino (CSR Team members)
I joined the CSR project with big expectations and I have to say they've all been met. We had the pleasure to be accompanied with playful striped dolphins every day, we saw sperm whales and even a fin whale right before docking the last day. I have seen two new cetacean species and learned a lot of new things about tracking with the hydrophone and research techniques. The crew and the participants have been wonderful companions of this amazing week in the Pelagos Sanctuary.
The Tethys CRS project has been one of the best experiences of my life. I could have never found a better way to learn, and be close to cetaceans in their natural environment. Every day there was something new and wonderful to see or experience... not to mention the great times I had just getting to know the staff and crew. I will never forget the past week, and I thank everyone on board for the amazing memories they've given me.
Thank you for this great opportunity to be part of your research and conservation project. I have been on whale and dolphin watching cruises before, but the experience on your boat is very different. I had only very basic knowledge of cetaceans before and learned a lot from you. I admire your dedication to your work, your patience with the participants and your good sense of humour. Your contribution to cetacean conservation is very important and I wish you all the best.
It's been a combination of the literary adventure of Moby Dick and the cinematic romance of The Big Blue. The voyage has been all and much more than I expected. I learned a great deal during the week thanks to both the research staff and the Captain of the M/Y Pelagos . I saw whales for the first time and to see groups of 50 and more dolphins at one time was totally awesome. To be able share all of this with my grand daughter Megan was truly the icing on the cake.
Well this week is just the first of two for my school project and it has been absolutely amazing. Since I was young I always wanted to do this sort of work, and now I get a taste of what it's like. Thinking about the fact that I never saw a whale, this trip put an end to that fact with two sperm whales and a glimps of a fin whale. And seeing about 60 dolphins blew my mind. I really hope to do this sort of work in the future.