31 August 2010

Cetacean Sanctuary Research 15 (23-29 August)


During this past wonderful week, Pelagos was home to an incredible global crew, with lovely people coming from all walks of life and different horizons. To add to the cosmopolitism of the boat, we welcomed on board our new German research assistant Nina Kelch, who came back after being a promising participant last year. Part of the magic and excitement about working in the wild is that we can never be really sure how each week is going to pan out. Last week did not let us down. Striped dolphins exhibited acrobatic skills on numerous occasions along with two of their calves, and we witnessed the beauty of a mother-calf pair of fin whales swimming obliviously in the pelagic area. Additionally, we sighted three sperm whales even though they were more elusive than last week. Aside from all the cetacean species, we encountered other aquatic animals: several jellyfish species, two sea turtles (one of them having a quiet nap at the surface) and two sunfish feasting on Velella velella. We will keep our fingers crossed for next week to be as fulfilling (the weather forecast is looking very promising!).

Viridiana, Francesca and Nina (CSR team members)

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It was one of those weeks where the planets aligned – the weather was beautiful, the seas were mostly kind, the team of people on the boat were a great lot and the cetaceans showed themselves often enough to earn their appearance fees. Thank you indeed to the professionalism of the crew – Francesca, Viridiana, Nina and Captain Paolo – I have learnt a lot about these wonderful creatures who inhabit our oceans and remind us of both the antiquity and fragility of Planet Earth. Long may she live! Research and programs such as this will be what will save her.

Dinah (Australia)

--- It wasn’t like a movie, there were no whales launching themselves onto the boat, no dolphins diving through hoops. It was much more real, respectful and impressive. So much to appreciate. The program takes participants on a journey that will help to sustain the Mediterranean Sea, the whales, the dolphins, other marine life and the participants themselves. The Tethys team are not only professional, knowledgeable, and organised, but also a joy to be around. Thank you to Francesca, Viridiana, Nina and Paolo.

Wendy (Australia)

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Ultima notte cullata dal mare nel porto di Sanremo, ripenso alle intense emozioni provate in questa indimenticabile settimana: la prima esperienza di vita in barca, gli spazi, il tempo e le emozioni condivise con quattordici persone ognuna diversa ed ognuna ormai impressa nella mia memoria, la passione, la dedicazione e la disponibilit√† di Francesca, Viridiana e Nina che ogni giorno con il loro lavoro cambiano un po’ il mondo, Paolo” the captain” che ci ha fatto solcare questo nostro splendido mare… e poi loro, i veri protagonisti di questa avventura, i nostri amici cetacei che nella loro magnificenza ci fanno ricordare quanto bello sia il mondo per la cui preservazione dobbiamo vivere e lottare. Grazie Tethys!

Cabiria (Italy)

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An extraordinary voyage with researchers who had a wonderful ability to wrangle 11 guests, while conducting serious and important detailed research into the habits and identities of cetaceans. They generously shared their detailed knowledge of whales and dolphins and other sea life with us. The participants were “simpatico”, the food was great and the whales cooperated by revealing themselves at regular intervals. Thank you Tethys for a wonderful experience.

Mary (Canada)

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