Dolphin Heaven!

April 17, 2021

Julia Wolf, C – Watch, Mount Holyoke College

Kayla listening to the dolphins and whales on the Hydrophone.
C297_17Apr_01small

Kayla listening to the dolphins and whales on the Hydrophone.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
26°40’4N 083°56’24W

Ship Speed
Hove to

Taffrail Log
130.9 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Hove to (ship does not move for science equipment deployment)

Souls on Board

We have been underway for 2 days now! Today was my first watch because I was assistant steward (assistant cook) yesterday. I woke up at around 0900 to chocolate chip scones on the Hutch (cupboard). I had about four hours before my watch started, which I spent on deck in the fresh air.

Shortly after I came up on deck, there were about 8 spotted dolphins swimming right beside the boat. They hung out for a while right next to us, and I swear they smiled at us! We were lucky because we had deployed the hydrophone in the water about a half hour before. We used the hydrophone to listen to the dolphins, and Kayla heard a low whale sound a couple of times. During that time, we saw some pelicans and laughing gulls. It was a great way to start my day!

We saw about 8 spotted dolphins. They swam all around the boat for a good hour!

We saw about 8 spotted dolphins. They swam all around the boat for a good hour!

My watch started at 1300, but we had a watch meeting at 1145. We reflected on how our first full day on the water went and how we were feeling. Instead of a 1-10 scale, Sara, our watch officer, had us make our own scale. One of my watch mate's (Emma's) scale was freshly baked cookies to stale cookies in the back of the pantry. We started the watch with jibbing (a fancy way of saying “turning the boat downwind”) and a boat check. Boat check is fun except for the part when you go into the engine room because it is a sauna.

Daviana and Anna laying out the Neuston Net for deployment while everyone else watched.

Daviana and Anna laying out the Neuston Net for deployment while everyone else watched.

We had class at 1430 today in which learned how to deploy the Neuston Net! During this time, I was really not feeling well, but I am glad that I was able to learn and am excited to deploy the net myself. After class, I helped scrub the deck with Izzy, Emma, and Elaina. We had a grand ole time because we got a “free” fresh water wash. After the deck, I was so happy to be able to steer the helm. It was such a long day, but my two favorite parts were seeing many spotted dolphins and eating homemade pizza made by Katey (the best RA/steward). I am now ending my day by writing this blog and watching the beautiful sunset!

- Julia Wolf, C - Watch, Mount Holyoke College

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