Blustery conditions and one metre swells made the conditions uncomfortable for some crew members on the latest Investigator College field survey with skipper Dan Irvine on The Big Duck Boat Tours on October 26th. The trademark enthusiasm and capable nature of the students was again clearly evident and after recording excellent observational data about a pod of nine dolphins at Shark Alley off Wright Island, they ventured further out off the Bluff to be rewarded with a sighting of Oceanic Common Dolphins. These beautiful creatures, smaller and more highly coloured than their inshore Bottlenose relatives, gave a high octane display of high speed fishing manoeuvres delighting everyone. Again the studentsâ€™ skills came to the fore allowing for good, coherent data to be collected for this observation â€“ no mean feat given the conditions.The Commons were absent the following day however when the SA Whale Centre volunteers ventured out under much better conditions. They too were able to record data about a group of five Bottlenose dolphins off Wright Island and a female and calf appearing off Granite Island breakwater on the return journey. PhD candidate Nardi Cribb from Flinders University was on board and met with KI Dolphin Watch Coordinators Tony and Phyll to discuss data entry, methods and project progress etc, prior to the survey.
Congratulations and thankyou to Investigator College teacher Renee Drew and students, SA Whale Centre volunteer Nedra Haines and fellow volunteers and Nardi for their fantastic work, help and support, and to Dan and Katie for making it all possible.