Only four days remain before I begin the trek to JFK and then to Roatan. I seem to have a knack for identifying flights that leave before the sun rises! I’ve reviewed the data sheets and made copies for the field work. We have surface logs for notating animals within various distances of the MVA from the surface viewpoint. We have blank sketch sheets for drawing the marks of the dolphins. We need to update our sketches annually to match with our video logs. This helps confirming the different IDs on the screen when we are back in the office reviewing and processing the video data. There are 20 plus dolphins to remember … easier than our wild groups, but still subtle with respect to marks.

My gear is lain out and being reviewed prior to being packed. I have the MVA2, the camera, the SM2M, my mask, fins, snorkel, wet suit, batteries, tapes, personal gear …


Let’s see if I can get everything into two checked bags and 1-2 carry-ons!



Any free time last week and this week are dedicated to preparing for the last week of October to RIMS. My week at RIMS comes after a two-year hiatus! I am very much looking forward to visiting RIMS and seeing the dolphins again. To see how much the calves have grown and see who’s hanging out with whom.

Last week was filled with re-formatting the MVA2 for a tape-camera that John and I found on eBay. I was having issues with a tape-less camera. We found an HDR camera and it just barely fit into MVA2. John spent a bit of time and set a new control into the back plate that will turn the camera on and off and connect with the record/standby button. So, we are set with camera control. The hydrophones needed to be replaced as the older pair (15 years old) had grounding problems that added quite a bit of noise to the recordings. We had a past-pair that work well, even though they require power. And, John found a neat option for the hydrophone arms – “locline” links. These replace the aluminum set arms that I love but are extremely difficult to travel with … if the locline arms work, then they will shift from a temporary fix to a permanent fix for the hydrophone displacement. I.e., to keep the hydrophone boxes at their minimum scaled distance apart (4.5 times the distance between my ears!).

I include a few photos so you can see some of these upgrades to MVA2.

MVA2 near done MVA2 new wiring MVA2 arms

This week includes review of the data sheets to make sure I have enough copies. I’ll also print out some of the papers we’ve had published since my last trip. And, the gear is being laid out in my library so I can make sure I do not forget anything. I’m shooting for two checked bags … I’ll let you know on Thursday if I meet my goal!

Thank you to our Fund-A-Geek sponsors for helping to make this trip possible!



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Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985

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info {at} dcpmail {dot} org

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