After an early start for the final pieces of preparation, we can at last say a big Azorean welcome to our expeditioners.
The team all arrived safely, from the north, east and west; via a mix of routes and modes of transport. The good news is they are all present and correct and very excited. So the first slot of 2015 officially begins.
With initial introductions, risks assessments and briefings completed, we stretched our legs with a whistle–stop orientation around Horta. Whilst important for us to impart the initial project knowledge, it has been great to learn about our new team. The day was rounded off with our first dinner, created in-house by the team – a tasty vegetarian pasta it was too!
Rested and recuperated from the travel and briefing exertions of yesterday, the science training began today. Familiarisation with equipment was followed by data records training, and rounded off with a boat orientation – though the latter was slightly delayed, as our vessel went (without us) to the aid of another boat stranded engineless in the harbour – always be prepared for the unexpected!
Slightly less than unexpected was the small ‘weather spanner’ thrown into the workings of the expedition, as our training session at sea was postponed by high winds. Tomorrow looks more favourable, so it will be all systems go as our team put their new-found knowledge into practice. The whales won’t have to wait for us much longer 😉
The weather delay meant Lisa (our scientist) could give a background talk on cetaceans, and the team could acquaint themselves with the data entry and the fluke matching process – how we identify and track individual whales.
The day was rounded off learning key identification features of species we will hopefully encounter, the team are now poised and ready for action. All we need now is a good night’s rest and the right weather for whales…
Update from our volunteer vacation / conservation holiday protecting whales, dolphins and turtles around the Azores archipelago