September bowled along right into October with reasonable flying conditions if rough seas, but despite that there was no shortage of guests for the encounter programme and also no shortage of sharks!
We finish the first day of October with 127 encounters and 62 sharks identified using I3S photo ID… of which equal numbers are new sharks compared to those that have been seen in previous years. Sex ratio wise the boys are winning hands down with 52 males compared to only 3 females so far this season.
The team of interns are doing famously obviously Katie’s training and Luke’s supervision have been paying dividends. Even Dr. David was surprised to learn they are staying in the office until 9.00 at night some evenings just so they can finish all the data entry so no-one needs to work in the office the following afternoon because they all want to be out on the boats, so days-off are a thing of the past!
The coveted Copepod Crown now has a new contender with Ciara putting in an amazing pitch with 3 copepods collected in a single snatch…. Tori is going to have her work cut out to equal this!
The first of our UK groups from Aquafirma arrive today being led by ‘veteran’ whale shark watcher Charlotte Caffrey; the participants in these groups will be out with us for five days learning what we are doing and assisting the interns with data collection, as well as having a great time! So the next two weeks looks like they are going to be very busy!
Johan our micro-light pilot and tame meteorological expert has been keeping an eye on the rather odd weather system for us and is predicting 3-4 days of great conditions, so I hope that the sharks are appreciative!