1 Nov 2009

Konec poletno-jesenske raziskovalne sezone - End of summer-autumn research season

Poletno-jesenska sezona terenskega dela društva Morigenos se je zaključila. Začela se je zimska sezona, ki ji tokrat nameravamo posvetiti več pozornosti. Zelo pomembno je namreč, da o delfinih v slovenskem morju zberemo čimveč podatkov tudi v zimskem času. Pri tem pa se radi spominjamo letošnje poletno-jesenske sezone, ki je bila prav neverjetna. O tem pričajo spodnji utrinki udeležencev naših poletnih raziskovalnih taborov.

The summer-autumn fieldwork season of Morigenos has ended. The winter fieldwork season has started instead. This season, we plan to put a lot of emphasis on winter research. It is very important to gather more information about dolphins in Slovenian waters in winter months. We will, however, gladly remember this year’s summe-autumn season, which was incredible. This is reflected by the feedback of some of our research camps participants below.

“Šesti dan raziskovalnega tabora Morigenos...
Po tem, ko smo v soboto zvečer odplesali "the dolphin dance" in se napolnili s "positive attitude", se je v nedeljo vse poklopilo: v mirnem morju smo opazili delfine. Naj pojasnim: po slovenskem morju ves čas plavajo delfini, toda ni jih tako enostavno opaziti, kot se morda na prvi pogled zdi. Svoje prvo srečanje z delfini v njihovem naravnem okolju lahko z eno besedo opišem kot VELIČASTNO. Ko so se čolnu približali na par metrov (ne, nismo jih vabili s hrano), so mi začele kar same od sebe po licih teči solze, solze sreče. Plavali so vse okrog nas, se hranili ter izvajali različne skoke (s katerimi med drugim tudi komunicirajo), mi pa smo občudovali lepoto njihovega gibanja, njihovo milino, igrivost in spokojnost. Prava hrana za dušo.“

Nina Uratarič, 33, Slovenija

“ -Morje- a mystic world with lots of special creatures. Among them: cetaceans! Fact is that millions of years ago their mammalian ancestors returned to the sea to spend their entire life in the water. Isn’t that cool?

“It’s high time to meet these animals in their natural habitat”, I thought to myself. So I grabbed my laptop, googled for a while and suddenly I came across the Morigenos webpage. Lucky me!! Honestly, I didn’t even know that dolphins can be found that far North in the Adriatic Sea. So this was great news, and I started reading through the camp description, looked at the dolphin photos on that site and pretty soon it was clear to me: I want to participate! A decision I wouldn’t regret...

During the ten days in Lucija (camp base, Piran (land observation point), Adriatic Sea (boat surveys), I gathered some special experiences. To me, as an admirer of nature, the encounters with free-ranging dolphins were just breathtaking. It was the 12th of September, a Saturday, and the first time we headed out with the boat to look for dolphins. We weren’t out at the sea for long when I suddenly heard Tilen shouting: “Dolphins”! I looked towards the direction Tilen was pointing, and there they were: MY FIRST DOLPHINS! My heart started beating fast, inside I was screaming, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. This moment was simply overwhelming. Dolphins approached our boat, and some of them came so close that if I had reached out my hand I could have touched them. We stayed with them until it got too dark to take more photographs. A dolphin’s jump into the sunset was the cherry on top of our first sighting. I felt like the happiest person on the planet.

On the following boat trips we found some juvenile marine turtles which are coming to the Northern Adriatic to feed and of course we saw lots of sea gulls and cormorants. Quite often I mistook a bird for a dorsal fin of a dolphin, (yes, when they’re far away they can look quite similar), that’s why I sometimes didn’t appreciate their presence at all.

Every other day in the evenings, Tilen gave us one of his brilliant lectures. During these we heard lots of interesting stuff about dolphins in the Slovenian waters, the work Morigenos had done so far, future projects, dolphin biology in general, cetaceans in captivity, conservation and so on.

Time flew and the last day of the research camp arrived - our last opportunity for another dolphin sighting. I hadn’t slept much because of the party the night before, and my stomach didn’t feel good either, but honestly, who cares?? I mean, just try not to focus on it, put on your clothes and jump on the boat. The sea was very calm, the sun shining, but that doesn’t give you the guarantee to find them, as we’ve experienced on some trips before. Although it can be really frustrating, being on the boat for several hours not spotting any dolphins, you have to keep a “positive attitude” (I can still hear Tilen saying it with a dinky “French accent”).

And finally we got what we were hoping for. The perfect sighting! A school of over 30 dolphins; adults and calves, performing high jumps, side-jumps, tail slaps, etc. – AWESOME!

I’m sure you agree with me when I say: Time passes by way too fast when you’re having fun. I indeed was a bit sad when time had come to say goodbye to the dolphins, the sea and of course all the nice people (both members and participants) I met during this camp. All in all, these ten days were full of wonderful experiences and I gained a good insight into the work of dolphin researchers.

This camp truly inspired me and I will definitely keep volunteering for cetacean research in the future. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself on the participants’ list for one of the next year’s Morigenos camps.”

Karin Künstner, 25, Austria

“What to expect when you come to Morigenos? To see dolphins of course, but you can't imagine to see such a large group jumping and feeding and all that in the sunset! It was such an amazing sighting that you wish you could see them everyday! Even if it didn't happen, I still had the fun to meet with a great crew again and other volunteers. Yes, I said: "again"! It was my second camp in 2 years and I think that it might not be the last one. I enjoy being in that environment so why not come back!”

Sylvie Rimella, 33, Switzerland

“I've been to the Morigenos Summer Camp for the second time this year and as for the first time I really enjoyed it. I got a closer look at dolphin research and how it's carried out. Going out on the boat, searching for dolphins was a great experience for me. But also doing land based surveys was nice, even though one did 'just' observe the dolphins with binoculars. It's just perfect for everyone who wants to learn about dolphins in the wild. There's so much to know about dolphin biology, research techniques and much much more. I came into contact with all this during the day while being out in the field or during lectures and documentaries. Besides there's a lot of other marine life around that's worth knowing about such as sea turtles or fish. What is even more it's also a lot of fun to meet new people from other countries and find friends who are interested in the same as you are yourself and enjoy life at the Slovenian coast together.”

Sarah Lehmann, 19, Germany

"Deset dni, na katere čakam vse leto, so zopet minili, a tokrat s še boljšimi spomini kot lansko leto. Čeprav sem delfine videla "samo" dvakrat, je to odtehtalo vse ostale dni, ki pa so bili tudi brez delfinov izjemni. Delfine smo videli daleč stran od obale. Sprva so plavali počasi, tako da smo zlahka identificirali vse. Resnično me je presenetil Tilen, ki je s samim pogledom naštel imena vseh delfinov v vodi (med njimi je bil tudi Deinon). Bilo je izjemno, a tega, da je delfin priplaval pod čoln le slab meter pod mano, ne prekaša nič. Poskočilo mi je srce, ko sem se dejansko zavedla, kako veliki in še bolj lepi so v resnici. Plavali pa niso samo počasi, ampak so nam pokazali tudi nekaj akrobacij, ki so mi dejansko vzele dih.
Ostale dni pa... ste že kdaj rešili kakšno divjo žival? Ste kdaj rešili morsko želvo? No, mi smo jo in občutek, ko izveš, da je ta žival, ki je skoraj nepremično ležala na površju vode, preživela samo zaradi tebe... NEPOZABEN!
Živali pa niso vse, kar je naredilo tabor tako poln doživetij. Tudi ostale aktivnosti, salsa, dan delfinov, nočno kopanje in druge so pripeljale k temu, da je bila neprespana marsikatera noč. Nenazadnje pa naj omenim še ekipo - hm... recimo, da si boljše ne morem predstavljati, in moram reči, da sem se resnično navezala na društvo, tako da se me še nekaj časa ne bodo znebili."

Deina Meglič, 17, Slovenija

1 comment:

  1. has been great! it's nice to read such wonderful reviews :)

    I'm looking forward to winter field work as well