Hello my name is Miss Gillingham. Please join me as I travel to Greece to study the dolphins of the Amvrakikos Gulf!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

First Day at the Research Station

We've made it! I met up with my fellow teammate, Mrs James from Derbyshire, in Athens where we caught the local coach to Vonitsa. Thankfully airconditioned and with a gorgeous view of the coast - very helpful on the 5 and a half hour journey.
We have now met our team (photos will need to follow tomorrow once we find a UBS port to work from). The main researcher Joan (male and from Spain) and his assistant Ioannis (from Greece) have walked us through the ropes (help!!!).
Tomorrow, bright and early we will head out to a nearby island, Kalamos where there has been a decline in dolphin populations. It is very close to two islands your parents may have heard of Ithaki (from the book Odessy) and Kefallina(from the book Captain Corellis Mandolin). We will compare the dolphins there to our main research area (Amvrakikos Gulf) where there are a lot of bottlenose dolphins.
The job - get ready:
1. Investigate the sea using something called a Beaufort Scale (in our terms 0 is flat water like a pool, 1 is ripples like when pebbles are dropped into water and 2 is a mixture of both, 3 slight waves (no white foam) etc. Either of these conditions means all systems are go as we will be able to locate the dolpines - yahhhh.
2. Once we find them, we pick our focal group, the ones we will watch closely, and record how they are behaving.
3. Every 5 minutes we look to see if they are close together, how long they dive for, their respiration (how long between breathes), how they jump, the direction they are swimming in and if they are hanging around a fish feeding station.
4.On top of that, we pay attention to how nice, or not so nice, the fish farmer behaves towards both us and the dolphins (lets hope very nice).
5. We need to look out for birds - anyone know what a shearwater bird is???
In any case it sounds exciting and I really hope I can find a USB port for pictures and videos or lets face it... this won't be so exciting for you.

1 comment:

  1. Number 4 is funny. You should have had a fish farmers friendliness scale, like 1) Jolly waving 2) Surly but accepting 3) Open hostility eg shouting and waving aggressively 4) Weaponry.

    Why was that one there? Is it just to make sure the surveyers don't annoy him/ her and get banned?