The Triangle

Lab Note #3
Mar 15, 2014

After several days on the water, and seeing relatively few whales, I've established a sort of routine. A route, really, following a rough triangle between Bahía Drake, Isla Caño, and San Pedrillo. This route outlines the study area nicely, and is fairly easy to cover in a field day. It also has the nice advantage of having a few really choice snorkeling spots at the northwest apex, Isla Caño.

This shows a day's work, with waypoints 1 and 3 representing mother-calf encounters (no flukes, unfortunately)! It is a de facto set transects. One issue, however, is that this strategy leaves the central region unmonitored. The low whale density means I may have to spend less time worrying about coverage, and more time focused on the animals I find.


Waypoint 2 is where we located a group of 5-10 spotted dolphins. A really great find, but a couple of images of one individual were particularly interesting. This injury or cicatrix, as captain Emiliano called it, is not as obviously anthropogenic in origin as some I've seen, but it may well be a propeller scar. Just a reminder of how critical is our understanding of the ecology of regions such as Drake Bay, which is a focus of intense commercial and recreational use.

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