Friday, August 14, 2009

Shark Chronicles 056 - 80% more Science

Here in Mossel Bay we have 80% more Science!

Monday morning arrives with a beautiful Women’s Day. To celebrate this public holiday, Rob baked a cake chocolate truffle cake. The beauty of this cake was somewhat detracted from by the fact that we had to retrieve Cheetah from its watery habitat to get serviced. But Science continued unabated through a Dolphin survey at the lighthouse! We saw more than 70 dolphins! Later on, shark Scientist Enrico Gennari gave the new interns a brief glance into the Science of tracking.

Chumming continued on Tuesday through Thursday on Lamnidae, a smaller boat than Cheetah but with many of its own appeals, like the ability to feel closer to the sharks. There were several fantastic chum trips, where the afternoon trip on Tuesday had one 4.5 meter shark, a breach, and a predation.

Wednesday morning dawned with more wind, but yielded an equally fantastic chum trip in the morning, but bad weather prevented an afternoon chum trip. Instead, we rotated marine life stocks in the aquarium. This included removing all the rocks, water, fish, and a mollus[c]k from the large pelagic tank. Thoroughly exhausted, we retired back to the intern house to watch the documentary Ultimate Shark, featuring South African Shark Expert Stephan Swanson wrangling a 5 meter shark.

Despite wailing winds and rain the Science interns headed out to see on Lamnidae Thursday morning to test their luck with the Great Whites. They were disappointed, however, because in the wake of the stormy Wednesday the sharks were timid. However, we look forward to more playful sharks in the coming days, leading up to a special tagging and tracking session coming up next week.

Gavin Morrison and Erin Moran – OCEANS interns

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