26 September 2011

CSR_19 (September, 19th - 25th)

The end of the Cetacean Sanctuary Research season is approaching, but the enthusiasm and passion for our work on Pelagos remain intact. The weather conditions at the beginning of the week prevented us from conducting our surveys at sea, so our participants and researchers had the opportunity to enjoy an educational trip to the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. Early on Wednesday morning, our research vessel Pelagos set out to sea and promptly encountered our first group of striped dolphins. Several other pods of this species were encountered throughout the day until we finally anchored in the picturesque bay of Saint Jean Cap Ferrat for the night. The next day was equally as rich in striped dolphin sightings, many of which included calves. On thursday night we were joined by Massimo Demma and his wife and daughter, Stefania and Matilde. Massimo is the designer of the Tethys logo, and was one of the people who witnessed the creation and growth of the institute. His invaluable drawings of Mediterranean cetacean species are still shown to participants in lectures to this day. It was an honour to have him and his family on board.
On Friday and Saturday we were treated to some very emotional sightings of three sperm whales, multiple groups of striped dolphins, and last but not least, our third sighting of Risso’s dolphins this season! The very socially active Risso’s were a group of 6 individuals that left both the participants and the researchers with priceless memories. Just as we thought it couldn’t get any better, we encountered another group of striped dolphins which was the three hundredth sighting of the season! A new record for CSR! This was celebrated on our final night with a delicious homemade tiramisu.

Elisa, Viridiana, Martina, Joanna

Following link is for participants of this week's expedition, showing the ship's route, pictures of some of the sightings and of some moments of the cruise which were memorable (or even not so...)

Ai partecipanti al turno รจ dedicato uno spazio con il percorso effettuato durante la settimana, le foto di alcuni avvistamenti e qualche immagine dei momenti da ricordare - importanti e non.

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