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Summer Solstice at the Griffith Observatory

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in California, USA | Comments Off on Summer Solstice at the Griffith Observatory

Last Saturday was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Edward and I decided to make a day of it–little did we know that half of Los Angeles had the same idea… So we wandered around a little bit, took a hike up the mountain looking for the best view of the “HOLLYWOOD” sign, and then took in the exhibits. We brought along picnic fixin’s and stopped in a park to dine.   Well, I went back...

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Biosphere Project Azores 2014 – Summary

Posted by on Jun 22, 2014 in Azores | Comments Off on Biosphere Project Azores 2014 – Summary

We had a stellar year this year in the Azores–so many sightings! Even though the seas were quite rough the animals came out in record numbers for us. Some days it was all we could do to keep up with the sightings and the paperwork–I guess that’s a good thing. Here are the  final stats for all three groups combined: Bottlenose dolphins – 8 encounters totalling 60 animals Common dolphins – 62 encounters totalling 1429 animals Risso’s dolphins – 8...

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April 21 Biosphere Expeditions Diary

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Azores | Comments Off on April 21 Biosphere Expeditions Diary

21 April Team 2 arrived and we spent our first (half) day at sea. Five minutes out we encountered a pod of common dolphins, and five minutes after that, five bottlenose dolphins. The lookouts had advised us that they saw baleen whales south of Pico, and sure enough; our first whale encounter was with a blue whale! We had unbelievably good fortune and right at the end of that encounter we encountered another. Then repeat; it happened again. In all,...

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April 16 Biosphere Expeditions Diary

Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Azores | Comments Off on April 16 Biosphere Expeditions Diary

16 April Monday the sun smiled on us as we went in search of the baleen whales that our vigia (lookout) had spotted, and we were rewarded with three fin whales; a mother, its calf and another individual. Seeing them glide through the water, skins glistening in the sunlight, you could see how the ancient fishermen would liken them to massive sea serpents. After they left, we found a pod of rather uncooperative female sperm whales who refused to...

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April 13 Biosphere Expeditions Diary Entry

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Azores | Comments Off on April 13 Biosphere Expeditions Diary Entry

13 April With wind from the east on Saturday, the swell was large. We all bundled up into our Buffs and waterproofs and braced ourselves for it. As we crashed through the waves we encountered our first pod of Risso’s dolphins with their distinctive beakless faces and white markings. Duncan, our reluctant photographer for the day, managed to capture an amazing photo of a Risso’s as it turned course towards the boat. We then moved on to a pod...

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April 11 Biosphere Diary Entry

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Azores | Comments Off on April 11 Biosphere Diary Entry

Wednesday we had good weather for our first full day at sea. The lookouts told us there were sperm whales to the north of Faial, and so that’s where we headed first thing. We stayed with 8 sperm whales at least half the day, cataloging at least 5 individual whales.   We then moved on to transect work, and were lucky enough to see a pod of striped dolphins doing their characteristic carousel thing. We got lucky and their...

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First Day at Sea – April 9 (Diary Entry)

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Azores | Comments Off on First Day at Sea – April 9 (Diary Entry)

9 April   Team 1 arrived last week, and  our first day at sea we were quite successful even though the first day is only a half day. We caught and tagged two loggerhead turtles – a wee one and a larger one. Scientist Lisa obviously has had a great deal of practice netting these fellows, because they both were already diving before we could get close.   We also saw a sperm whale, a fin whale, scores of...

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