Everywhere I went, Ken was sure to follow. Or, he would appear suddenly in the viewfinder obscuring any other dolphins!
We began today like yesterday – with a 7 am data collection session. The second session was at 10:30, which was for the best since the underwater visibility had not improved significantly. Ken was my sidekick for most of each session. He spent much time with Mr. French and Jack last year and before the hurricanes, hung out with Mr. French lots. They are both three-year-olds. But, Mr. French is at Osgood Cay, and the other available playmates, Bailey and Anthony, are observed closely by their moms, Cedena and Alita, respectively.
I was able to get a few good views of Carmella and her calf and Mrs. B and her calf. But, each time Carmella came within four meters, Ken zoomed between us. It was mildly frustrating, but I was still able to get good footage of everyone … just not always very close!
Ken was also whistling the same tune almost constantly, with an accompanying bubble stream. I began to wonder if he was whistling to alert the others to my location so that they could avoid me. But, they likely all knew where I was and did not seem to avoid me when I did see them. So, my second line of thought was that Ken was trying to get me to play with him. Maybe I frustrated him because I would not play. Maybe he was thinking, “here is this human that dives down and should be able to play, but she isn’t! I even invite her to play, and she won’t!”
I try to be as non-invasive as possible when I record their behavior and sounds. Sometimes they poke at me with their rostrum, or poke at the hydrophone boxes. I turn my back and sometimes they move on. No one that I know has come up with a viable “blind” for observing dolphins under water unnoticed.