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Journals 2003/2004

Elizabeth Gibbs
Thompson Middle School, Newport, Rhode Island

"Impact of human activities on dusky dolphin behavior and population biology"
Field Station, Kaikora, New Zealand
July 13 - 25, 2003

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Sunday, July 20, 2003

The rainstorm kicked up enough sea that it was again to rough to go out. Louise, Mika, Tim and I headed north again to Queen Charlotte Sound while the others worked on fin i.d. and went for a kelp walk with the people from the University of Canterbury lab down on North Bay.

We had smooth waters in the sound. Because the weather appeared to be coming from the south, we did the more exposed center part of the sound first-a survey, cruising at moderate speed with one person looking to port, one to starboard, and the other two scanning. We were in the water at one o'clock and didn't encounter the dolphins until about three hours later. But, near the end of the Grove Arm, we saw splashing a few hundred meters away-obviously dolphins. We hooted with excitement and went over to find eight adults and a calf feeding. When they're feeding, their behavior is different. They don't leap, but may move relatively quickly, sometimes taking long dives, perhaps to look for fish. Shortly after seeing the relatively large group, whose location was shared with the hungry seabirds, we came across a second pod of two adults.

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