This week was a week of excitement and change here at Oceans.
All the interns were reunited after the shifts tracking at Breede River. However, two of us were not back for long. We said a sad goodbye to Yolly and Marc, both going back in order to finish their undergraduate degrees at university. It was hard to say farewell to people we had all come to know quite well over the last month.
However, the ranks of the interns have not been thinning, because we have welcomed four new interns to the house: Dylan from Washington, D.C.; Stacey from Sheffield, England; Rachel from Whakatane, New Zealand; and Chris from South Hampton, England. Unlike the “old” interns, who had the opportunity to learn the art of shark wrangling together as a group, the new interns have been faced with the challenge of picking up everything as they go, learning from the others as well as the Oceans directors. Happily, the newcomers have been more than up to the task, and are already contributing fully to the Oceans team. In the words of Stef, the “well-oiled machine” continues to be as well-oiled as ever, with the new interns seamlessly integrated into our big sharky system.
The week began with a rather dismal weather report, with a forecast for high winds and big swell. On Monday we began the first half of another seal survey with daytime shifts on the roof of the Diaz hotel. Unfortunately, conditions did not remain ideal for continuing the survey at night from sea. Luckily, the following night conditions improved and allowed us to complete the survey without any problems. The rest of the week was spent at sea showing the new interns the ropes and at the aquarium doing routine feeding and cleaning.
The last bit of excitement came on Saturday. We had over a dozen sharks, some almost four meters, aggressively attacking the bait for a solid three hours. We had sharks partially breaching on the bait. The busy day at sea was capped off with a full breach as well as the passing of a large pod of over one hundred bottlenose dolphins. Just another day at the office.