First day on the water today…
I thought I’d try something a bit different during this fieldwork stint. Rather than only posting occasional ‘good’ photos, in my mind at least, I’ll try to provide a daily update here on the “Field Notes” section of the site – and on our Patreon page. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting – you’re welcome to ask questions about the work we’re doing, of course!
Anyway, to begin: my partner Mads, Dr Chris Rohner and I are on Mafia Island in Tanzania. Chris and I have been coming here since 2012, when we kicked off a whale shark research project here. Not many people have heard of Mafia, but I love it! Super chilled, great diving, and – as we’ve found – highly resident whale sharks.
We only saw one shark today, but it was a new one for the global database: TZ-188. Every whale shark has a unique spot pattern on the flanks, which we can ID using the search algorithm on www.whaleshark.org. He was about 5.5 m long, a juvenile male, cruising fast over a shallow sandbank.
The whale shark “season” (when they start gorging themselves on shrimp at the surface) typically kicks off with the beginning of the kazkasi winds, a change to seasonal north-easterlies. That should happen any day now… 🤞🤞🤞
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I write a few articles just for my mailing list. They normally focus on something interesting, and possibly hilarious, that I've learnt about sharks (or other random animals) that week. There may also be groan-inducing jokes.
Real talk: there will be groan-inducing jokes.