On the water

Lab Note #1
Feb 16, 2014

We arrived in Drake Bay on 2/2/14. We spent many days getting settled into our house, transitioning the kids into their new life and school. They started school on Monday, 2/10. This Thursday, 2/13, I finally got out on the water after extended discussions with some locals and expats about boats and captains. For now, I'm strictly abiding by all the restrictions in place to protect the jorobadas (proximity, duration of the interaction), because we're still waiting on the arrival of our permisos from ACOSA (Areá de Conservación Osa). My colleague from Fundación Keto, Pala, should be arriving in Bahía Drake early next week, bearing permits! Still, it was a terrific morning on the water. Below you can see the study area, and the route we took looking for our animals. I'm using iNavX on the iPad, and a BadElf Pro for data collection.

As you can see, we worked our way around Paraíso, a well-known fishing spot, and the location my boat captain had heard whales had been sighted. After a fruitless look there, we worked out way around Caño Island, and back to Paraíso. Sure enough, we found mother and calf traveling, with 5 minute breathing intervals. No fluke though! Cruel mother! We dropped down to the South, so we could travel back via Marenco, another spot local boat captains had noticed whales in recent days. Right now, there are few whales in the region, but more are coming. Here's a snap of the first female-calf pair I encountered on this expedition!

Beautiful!

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