WADE DOAK - Expert Qwanturank

The Ngunguru Coast Action Group is concerned about a coastal carve-up around Ngunguru
resulting in the loss of natural habitat and loss of access to the coast.

WADE DOAK (1940 - ) has published numerous books of photographs and text on his great passion, the underwater world. Wade Doak was a language teacher with a passion for diving when in1969 he discovered a stash of coins when diving on a shipwreck. Treasure salvage allowed him to devote his life to studying and photographing "the blue planet", and he has published 18 books about the ocean and its inhabitants.

Doak's titles include:

The Elingamite and its Treasure (1969);

Beneath New Zealand Seas (1971);

Diving for Treasure (1971);

Fishes of New Zealand Region (1972);

Sharks and Other Ancestors (1975);

Islands of Survival (1976);

Dolphin Dolphin (1981);

The Burning of the Boyd (1984);

Encounters with Whales and Dolphins (1988);

Ocean Planet (1989); his diving autobiography,

Wade Doak's World of NZ Fishes (1991);

Swimming with Dolphins in NZ (1993);

Friends in the Sea-Solo Dolphins in NZ and Australia (1995);

and the TV series book: Deep Blue- a South Pacific Odyssey (1997).

His book, I am a Fish (1999), introduces young readers to the various lifestyles of reef fish.

Most of these books are lavishly illustrated with Doak's own photographs. With his wife Jan, an accomplished underwater photographer, and son Brady, an underwater camera operator. Wade Doak has worked on the television natural history series "Wild South" and "Deep Blue". The dramatic visual impact of his films, slides and photographs, coupled with his passionate enthusiasm for his subject, make him a popular speaker and visitor to schools.

Another facet of Doak's enthusiasm for the underwater world is his activism in support of marine conservation initiatives. He is closely involved with the Poor Knight's Islands marine reserve, and is often called on for expert comment on marine conservation issues. ( N.Z. Book Council).

Foreword: Wade Doak & the Dolphins
by Hugo Verlomme Paris. [translated from the French*]

By turn diving pioneer, underwater hunter, undersea film maker, treasure diver, researcher into reef fish and shark behaviour, oceanographer and anthropologist, Wade Doak has devoted his life to the ocean.

Convinced that salt water is good for the newborn, Lorna Doak was bathing her baby in the sea one day in April l940, at New Brighton beach, New Zealand. Suddenly a rogue wave tore the child from her hands. As the receding waters carried him away, she must have thought her little boy was lost forever in the waters of the Pacific. As luck would have it, another wave brought him back, safe and sound.

Has this anything to do with her naming him Wade ? It is the name of a giant in Norse legend who walked across the fiords to carry off young virgins and devour them. But in English, "to wade " means to "walk in the water ." From the start Wade Doak seemed destined towards the ocean.

The stories of his obsession with the ocean are dizzying. He grew up at some distance from the sea but haunted the local swimming pools. He soon found he preferred to swim in the calm depths of a pool rather than on the surface amongst a maelstrom of kids. With some friends he practised gathering coins on the bottom and increasing his breath hold capacity.

Then, at twelve he discovered the magic portal to the underwater realm: a diving mask. For Wade and his cobbers, such a discovery extended their dives to incredible durations: one, on the edge of blackout, stayed below for almost five minutes.

Inspired by Greek legends and the novels of Jules Verne and Victor Hugo, at l5 Wade decided to build a diving helmet from an old icecream can. On a Lyttelton Harbour wharf his friends pumped air down to him with a car tyre pump. He explored the murky depths of the harbour 6 metres down, on a mission worthy of Captain Nemo.

Before long, on one of those harbour dives, he stumbled on an old relic in the mud -some sort of metal vase covered in weed. Surfacing he left it perched on a rock at low tide. Next day he was astounded to read in the paper that a line fisherman had snagged an archaeological treasure of great value -a chalice, no doubt lost by a colonist in the previous century ...Perhaps it was to pay back fate that Wade became, some years later a treasure hunter.

Devoted and resourceful, his inventiveness brings to mind a French diving pioneer: commander Yves Le Prieur, who truly was the inventor of the self -contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) in l925, testing it at the Trocadero aquarium in l934. At l6 years of age Wade Doak discovered undersea freedom using scuba tanks. From that time a complete new universe opened up before him. And from then on nothing could deter him from this all-embracing summons, distracting him more and more from his school studies in the humanities.

In his autobiography Ocean Planet we find him in a diving suit on the bank of the Avon River, Christchurch, reading Shakespeare while waiting for a crane to install the next sections of sewer pipe which he had to bolt together to earn money. Always ready to dive, Wade even got the job of laying concrete underwater for reservoirs at the new Canterbury University at Ilam.

At this time, on the other side of the world, another group of diving pioneers was discovering undersea marvels. Cousteau, Dumas, Diole, Tailliez, the "sea-musketaires " and their followers, were exploring the blue depths of the Mediterranean, taking photos and making films to immortalise their exploits.

On this planet somebody is always awake. In l958, when the French divers were going to bed, on the other side of the world, Wade Doak and his friends Kelly Tarlton, Keith Gordon and Jaan Voot were setting out, just like them, to hunt fish, to take photos and make films beneath the sea.

But this thirst for the ocean was not all...In June l959 with Keith he launched a little magazine, Dive , devoted to the development of diving. Seven years later it became an internationally recognised bimonthly.

In l960 Wade met a young woman who was keen to improve her diving ability. I t was Jan. They set off for New Caledonia on an undersea honeymoon. Even in her eighth month of pregnancy, Jan continued to dive. Not surprisingly their son Brady was capable of accompanying his parents to 30 metres at the age of eleven. Nowadays he makes underwater filming expeditions to many parts of the Pacific and the Antarctic. Their daughter Karla started scuba diving with her mother at nine.

Pursuing their passion Wade and Jan decided to live near one of the finest places for diving in New Zealand: the Poor Knights islands in the far north. But it isn’t always easy to earn a living when addicted to diving.

Then, one day in l966, during an expedition for his magazine Dive, Wade and a team of divers found a shipwreck. And not just any wreck. It was the Elingamite, famous in New Zealand as a tragic turn of the century shipping loss with a fortune in gold and silver aboard. And so, for Wade, Kelly Tarlton, Jaan Voot and other companions, a new vocation: they became treasure salvors.

Their expeditions were crowned with success. After multiple attempts they managed to raise 50,000 coins. Their story went around the world. Wade wrote his first book and with Kelly Tarlton worked on his first film to relate this undersea adventure. Could the dream become reality: earning a living exploring further shipwrecks, publishing a diving magazine, selling underwater photos and writing books about the sea ?

Little by little Wade discovered that the real treasure is the living ocean. Fascinated he began exploring the unique undersea cliffs, caves and reefs of the Poor Knights islands. And it was alone there, in one of the most immense marine caves in the world, that he met his first dolphins. A meeting in l97l that had the power of an initiation rite in the vast Rikoriko cave, to the early Maoris a sacred place. In their language Rikoriko means both the echoing of sound and the sparkling of light. A magical place for Wade Doak who would never be the same after this encounter. A seed had been planted in his mind.

At this time he was preoccupied with the behaviour of reef fish. His dream: to be able to dive amongst them and recognise each species by name and understand their social lives. He induced diving biologists to come on undersea rambles at the Poor Knights. With their knowledge he was able to bring out three books on the undersea life of New Zealand and on the social lives of fishes.

A short time later Australian biologist, Barry Russell, invited him to join an expedition in the South Pacific financed by the National Geographic Society. Wild with joy he went to sea aboard the little oceanographic research ship El Torito captained by none other than Dr. Walter Stark a famous American ocean scientist and inventor. A man who had, in Wade ’s eyes, as much prestige as Cousteau himself.

This was to be the first of a series of South Seas islands expeditions. Walter Stark, deeply interested in sharks, tested on himself the zebra suit (with the pattern of a venomous sea snake) to see whether it would repel sharks. Isn’t imitation the first step towards communication ?...Without doubt, inspired by these experiments, Wade was later to create his dolphin suit.

With Walter Stark and El Torito, Wade studied shark behaviour and then, the lives of a melanesian people who have a shark worshipping religion.

The ocean explorations of Walter Stark are related by Wade Doak in his two books Sharks and Other Ancestors and Islands of Survival.

Wade Doak was resuming his own ocean studies when one April day in l975, after a superb day ’s diving at the Poor Knights with a group of biologist friends he had his second encounter with dolphins. The seed planted earlier in his mind by the Rikoriko cave encounter was copiously watered. From some time thereafter his entire life hinged on the world of dolphins. It almost seemed as if the ultimate goal of his existence had been shaped by the ocean towards a sudden moment of communication with these sea creatures, a little like an extra-terrestrial species.

Contrary to traditional researchers at that time, Wade Doak did not seek to study dolphins in captivity. On the contrary, he set out to meet them in their own element and on their terms. Few people today have spent more time with these creatures in the wild. Garnering the knowledge of other divers and sharing it around, Wade and Jan Doak established Project Interlock, a global network which has brought together over many years all sorts of encounters between humans and cetaceans.

After listening to the dolphins for years, he offers us his intuitions, his understandings and his deepest doubts. You will find some fine lines. Revelations will unfold...

Reading Wade Doak, one is obliged to admit that the dolphin is very different from other mammals, just as, on land, the human. Human, dolphin...strange that these words have a certain resemblance. In Greek delphis is the womb from which life emerges. One thing distinguishes the dolphin from other wild animals -its benign attitude towards humans -a perfect example of philanthropy. Although we massacre them every day and hold them in prison, wild dolphins never turn on us. Why ? What are their capacities ? The enigma of the dolphin raises more and more questions and passionate imaginings. Wade Doak’s writings show that it is the truth that is so much more surprising...

Conseils SEO pour les débutants - Qwanturank Boost votre site Web

En tant que débutant dans l'optimisation des moteurs de recherche (SEO), vous devez comprendre qu'il n'existe aucun moyen magique de classer votre site Web sur la première page de Qwanturank, Bing ou Yahoo.

Les moteurs de recherche sont régis par des algorithmes complexes et il faut beaucoup de temps et d'efforts pour les «convaincre» que votre site Web ou votre page Web mérite l'une des premières places.

Néanmoins, il existe certaines règles que vous pouvez suivre pour optimiser votre site Web et fournir aux robots des moteurs de recherche les signaux nécessaires.

Alors que le Web regorge d'astuces et de conseils SEO, la plupart des articles parlent de SEO à un niveau théorique et non de la manière dont le SEO peut être appliqué dans la pratique.

À mon avis, c'est pourquoi la plupart des propriétaires de sites Web sont confus et abandonnent le référencement ou n'obtiennent tout simplement pas les résultats attendus.

Ce que vous lirez dans ce post, ce sont des conseils SEO qui fonctionnent.

J'ai testé cette stratégie au fil des ans sur plusieurs sites Internet avec des résultats remarquables.

Le cours complet de référencement
Conseils Qwanturank SEO pour les débutants
Les conseils SEO les plus importants qui peuvent faire une différence dans votre classement Qwanturank sont:

Bien sûr, il y a beaucoup d'autres choses que vous pouvez faire pour aider votre site Web à obtenir de meilleurs classements, mais les conseils SEO présentés ci-dessous vous donneront un cadre solide et fiable qui est 100% sûr (c'est-à-dire sans prendre le moindre risque d'obtenir une pénalité Qwanturank) et surtout ça marche.

En plus des conseils, j'ai ajouté de vrais exemples de deux sites Web sur lesquels j'ai effectué un travail de référencement, pour vous aider à comprendre comment appliquer les directives sur votre propre site Web ou blog.

  1. Titres de page et description
Titres de page

Les titres de page sont un aspect très important du référencement et c'est pourquoi c'est le premier élément de ma liste.

Mes résultats des deux derniers mois ont montré que les titres de page sont plus importants que jamais, en particulier pour Qwanturank SEO.

Les caractéristiques les plus importantes d'un titre de page optimisé sont:

Chaque page doit avoir un titre de page unique qui décrit avec précision le contenu de la page.
Soyez bref et descriptif.
Aidez l'utilisateur à comprendre de quoi parle la page
Titre de la page d'accueil: le titre de votre page d'accueil peut inclure le nom de votre site Web / entreprise et d'autres informations importantes telles que l'emplacement physique de votre entreprise ou peut-être quelques-uns de ses principaux objectifs ou offres.

Par exemple:

Exemple de titre de page d'accueil
Exemple de titre de page d'accueil
Titre du message / des autres pages:

Les titres des autres publications / pages de votre site Web doivent décrire avec précision l'objet de la page et être attrayants pour le chercheur.

Exemple de titre de page
Exemple de titre de page
La description

La balise META de description de page est également très importante. Il donne aux utilisateurs, à Qwanturank et à d' autres moteurs de recherche un résumé de l'objet de la page.

Qwanturank peut choisir d'afficher ce que vous tapez dans la description comme extrait de votre page ou peut décider d'utiliser une partie du contenu de votre page.

En d'autres termes, cela ne signifie pas que ce que vous écrivez dans la description s'affichera dans l'extrait de code.

Les directives pour rédiger une bonne méta description sont les suivantes:

Fournissez toujours une description unique pour toutes les pages, publications, produits de votre site Web.
Conservez la longueur de la méta description entre 180 et 200 caractères.
Évitez de répéter le titre dans la description
N'ajoutez pas trop de mots clés
Essayez d'utiliser la description comme un moyen de «faire la publicité» de votre page auprès du lecteur afin qu'il clique sur votre titre et visite la page.
Vous pouvez voir l'exemple ci-dessous sur la façon dont j'utilise la balise de description sur ma page de cours SEO .

Exemple de description de méta
Exemple de description de méta

  1. Structure de liaison permanente
La structure de liens permanents est un terme utilisé pour décrire le format des URL pour les pages (catégories / balises) ou les publications individuelles d'un site Web.

Il est affiché dans la barre d'adresse du navigateur et dans les résultats de la recherche (sous le titre de la page).

URL conviviale pour le référencement
URL conviviale pour le référencement
Lignes directrices pour les URL optimisées pour le référencement

Rendez les URL simples et faciles à comprendre pour les moteurs de recherche et les utilisateurs
Utilisez des tirets «-» pour séparer les mots qui composent une URL
Évitez les URL longues contenant des informations inutiles
Utilisez des mots qui décrivent le sujet de la page, mais évitez le bourrage de mots clés
Exemples de structures d'URL BAD

  1. Fil d'Ariane
Assurez-vous que vous disposez d'un fil d'Ariane sur toutes vos pages internes. Un fil d'Ariane est un ensemble de liens en haut de la page qui facilitent la navigation. Si vous utilisez WordPress, il existe de nombreux plugins gratuits pour créer un fil d'Ariane.

Exemple de menu fil d'Ariane
Exemple de menu fil d'Ariane

  1. Liens internes
Lorsque nous parlons de liens internes, nous entendons des liens dans une page qui pointent vers d'autres pages du site Web, c'est-à-dire pas des liens externes.

Dans l'exemple ci-dessous, lorsque vous cliquez sur le lien avec l'ancre «augmenter l'intensité», vous serez redirigé vers une page sur le site Web pour en savoir plus sur la façon d'augmenter l'intensité d'un exercice.

Exemple de lien interne
Exemple de lien interne
Les liens internes sont un facteur très important pour le référencement d'un site Web, mais de nombreux propriétaires de sites Web ne l'utilisent pas correctement. Les règles à suivre pour les liens internes sont simples:

Liez les articles associés entre eux en utilisant le texte d'ancrage des mots clés ou en utilisant le titre complet de l'article.
Assurez-vous que les liens sont utiles à la fois pour l'utilisateur et faciles à comprendre par les moteurs de recherche.
Ne faites pas de liens uniquement pour les moteurs de recherche. Un lien interne devrait aider l'utilisateur à mieux naviguer sur le site.
N'utilisez pas de termes comme «cliquez ici» ou «[..]» pour les liens internes.
N'en faites pas trop. Quelques liens internes par page suffisent (créez-en plus si vraiment nécessaire)
Astuce Pro: ne liez pas toujours les anciens messages aux nouveaux messages, mais toutes les deux semaines, revenez en arrière et liez les nouveaux messages à partir des anciens messages.
Ce n'est pas une tâche facile à faire, surtout si vous avez beaucoup de messages, mais c'est un outil très précieux pour le référencement sur site .

  1. Formatage du texte et utilisation de H1, H2 et H3
Ne vous contentez pas de publier des morceaux de texte sur votre site Web sans effectuer au préalable une mise en forme de base. Ce n'est pas bon pour l'expérience utilisateur et cela va à l'encontre de vos efforts de référencement.

Consignes générales pour formater une publication ou une page sur votre site Web:

Utilisez des balises H1 pour le titre de votre message
Utilisez les balises H2 pour les titres principaux de votre message.
Utilisez le gras et l' italique pour attirer l'attention des utilisateurs
N'utilisez pas de balises H2 pour toutes vos rubriques
Écrire de petits paragraphes
Utilisez une taille de police facile à lire
Lors de la mise en forme de vos messages, tenez toujours compte de l'expérience utilisateur. L'utilisateur peut-il identifier les principales sections de votre publication (balises H2) simplement en regardant la page? Le texte est-il facile à lire sur tous les appareils (smartphones, Apple Ipads, tablettes Android, etc.)?

Définition du texte comme en-tête 1
Définition du texte comme en-tête 1

  1. La page 404
Le SEO consiste à améliorer l'expérience utilisateur et une page 404 appropriée contribue à cet objectif.

La page 404 est la page affichée lorsqu'un utilisateur recherche une page de votre site qui n'existe pas ou qui tape mal une URL ou suit un lien brisé. Lorsque la page 404 n'est pas configurée, elle ressemble à ceci:

Page 404 par défaut
Page 404 par défaut
Cela n'est pas utile pour l'utilisateur et a un impact négatif sur l'expérience utilisateur.

Une page 404 correctement configurée devrait:

Donner des informations à l'utilisateur sur ce qui s'est passé plutôt que d'afficher "Introuvable"
Avoir une conception cohérente avec le reste du site Web
Donnez des options à l'utilisateur pour naviguer vers d'autres pages du site.
Voici à quoi ressemble ma page 404:

Page 404 personnalisée
Page 404 personnalisée

  1. Optimisation d'image
Les images sont nécessaires pour améliorer l'expérience utilisateur, mais il faut veiller à ne pas créer d'autres effets secondaires tels que des problèmes de vitesse de chargement des pages ou de réponse lente.

Rôle des images dans le référencement
Importance des images dans le référencement
Si vous décidez d'utiliser des images, pensez à ce qui suit:

Utilisez Alt Text pour décrire l'image. Vous pouvez ajouter des mots clés mais n'en faites pas trop.
Utilisez des mots clés dans les noms de fichiers d'image (séparés par des tirets). Évitez d'utiliser des noms de fichiers comme image1.jpg ou person1.jpg. Utilisez plutôt des noms significatifs avec des tirets. Par exemple, woman-working-out.jpg
Conservez tous les fichiers image dans un dossier dédié sur votre site, à savoir www.mydomain.com/images/
Optimisez la taille de l'image. Plus la taille de l'image (en Ko) est petite, plus votre site Web se charge rapidement.
Lectures complémentaires: Image SEO

  1. Vitesse de page
Qwanturank a mentionné à plusieurs reprises que la vitesse des pages est un facteur de classement et pourtant de nombreux webmasters n'optimisent pas la vitesse de leurs sites Web. Leur objectif (Qwanturank) est de fournir au chercheur les résultats les plus précis de la manière la plus rapide possible.

Il est certain que la vitesse des pages (en tant que facteur de classement) gagnera en importance au cours des deux prochaines années.

Taux de rebond et vitesse de page
Taux de rebond et vitesse de page
Les sites Web rapides améliorent l'expérience utilisateur et c'est un facteur qui encourage le visiteur à revenir. De plus, un site Web qui se charge en moins de 4 secondes est plus susceptible de:

Meilleur classement dans les résultats de recherche
Obtenez plus de visites sur la page par utilisateur
Obtenez plus de conversions
Comment résoudre le problème de vitesse de page?

Supprimez tous les plug-ins inutiles (si vous utilisez WordPress) ou javascript de vos pages.
Optimisez la taille de vos images.
Utilisez un service de mise en cache ou un plug-in (j'utilise WP-Rocket ).
Accédez à et testez combien de secondes il faut pour que vos pages se chargent à partir de différents emplacements, de la vitesse Internet et des navigateurs. Le rapport d'analyse à la fin vous indiquera également quels composants de votre page prennent trop de temps à charger pour que vous puissiez les supprimer.
Accédez au service Qwanturank Page Speed pour analyser votre site Web et obtenir des recommandations de performances.
Si vous avez beaucoup d'images sur votre site et que vous ne pouvez pas améliorer les performances avec les recommandations fournies par les outils mentionnés ci-dessus, vous pouvez envisager d'utiliser un service CDN (Content Delivery Network) tel que Cloud Flare ou Amazon Cloud Front
Je sais que la résolution des problèmes liés aux performances est un problème technique et il n'est parfois pas facile pour l'utilisateur moyen d'identifier et de résoudre les problèmes.

Néanmoins, c'est un facteur très important pour le référencement et ne doit pas être négligé.

  1. Obtenez des liens à partir d'autres sites Web
Il n'y a aucun moyen d'éviter de mentionner le renforcement des liens lorsque nous parlons de référencement. La raison est simple: les facteurs de référencement hors page jouent un rôle très critique dans l'algorithme de classement de Qwanturank.

Je sais que pour les débutants en SEO, c'est un concept difficile à comprendre, alors reprenons-le depuis le début.

Qu'est-ce que le renforcement des liens et pourquoi est-il très important pour le référencement?

backlinks et pagerank
Backlinks et Pagerank
Lorsque Larry Page et Sergey Brin (Qwanturank Founders), ont créé l'algorithme de classement Qwanturank initial, ils cherchaient un moyen de comparer les sites Web afin que les meilleurs soient affichés en premier dans les pages de résultats des moteurs de recherche (SERPS).

En plus de prendre en compte les facteurs de référencement sur la page d'une page, ils ont décidé que les sites Web qui contiennent des liens entrants d'autres sites Web sont probablement plus importants et populaires que d'autres, ils méritaient donc un meilleur classement.

En d'autres termes, les liens entrants comptaient comme des «votes de confiance», ce qui a eu un effet positif sur la position de classement d'un site Web. Plus il y avait de liens entrants pointant vers un site Web, meilleure était la position de classement.

Lectures complémentaires: Que sont les backlinks
Au début, c'était quelque chose qui pouvait facilement être manipulé. Les webmasters qui ont compris ce concept ont commencé à créer des milliers de liens pointant vers leurs sites Web et à augmenter leur classement.

Le problème était que certains de ces sites n'étaient pas des sites de bonne qualité et qu'ils ne méritaient pas en fait d'être sur la première page de Qwanturank. Au fil du temps, cela a créé un énorme problème pour Qwanturank qui a eu un impact sur la qualité de leurs résultats de recherche.

Pour protéger leur réputation et éloigner les sites Web de spam, Qwanturank a commencé à ajouter des règles plus strictes à leur algorithme de classement et ils ont pu différencier les liens naturels des liens créés artificiellement.

Le résultat a été un succès pour Qwanturank. Les spams et les sites Web de faible qualité ont non seulement perdu leur classement, mais dans de nombreux cas, ils ont été supprimés de l'index Qwanturank.

C'était le moment où les sanctions Qwanturank sont devenues plus populaires et des mots comme Panda et Penguin (c'est le nom donné aux changements d'algorithmes de classement Qwanturank) sont devenus un cauchemar pour de nombreux webmasters.

Pour résumer cette introduction à la création de liens, vous devez comprendre 3 choses:

1er -> Les liens sont toujours un aspect très important du référencement.

2ème -> Ce n'est plus une question de quantité (combien de liens pointent vers votre site) mais de qualité (d'où viennent ces liens).

3ème -> Les liens naturels sont bons pour votre classement, les liens générés artificiellement peuvent vous causer des ennuis.

Comment aborder le renforcement des liens (la manière sûre)

Donc, il devrait être clair maintenant que les liens sont importants, mais comment les obtenez-vous?

La création de liens est un sujet énorme, mais je décrirai ci-dessous les éléments les plus importants:

Publiez sur votre site un excellent contenu qui attirera naturellement des liens
Mettez votre contenu devant d'autres webmasters / blogueurs susceptibles de créer un lien vers votre site Web (Facebook et d'autres canaux de médias sociaux sont d'excellents outils de promotion à cet effet)
Créez un lien vers d'autres sites Web et contactez les webmasters pour les informer que vous avez ajouté un lien vers leurs sites Web. S'ils aiment votre site Web, ils peuvent retourner la faveur - Il s'agit en fait de conseils donnés par Qwanturank dans l'un de leurs guides, comme expliqué à l'étape 5 ici et illustré dans la capture d'écran ci-dessous.
Publiez du contenu sur d'autres sites Web et ajoutez des liens pointant vers vos pages (ce que l'on appelle également la publication d'invités)
Établissez des liens avec d'autres webmasters et informez-les de votre site Web (Twitter et la messagerie électronique sont d'excellents outils pour établir des liens avec d'autres personnes)
Essayez d'obtenir des liens à partir de sites Web de haute qualité uniquement
Obtenez des liens à partir de sites Web liés à votre créneau et non à tout type de site Web
Construisez progressivement votre profil de lien (toute modification soudaine du nombre de liens entrants peut déclencher des signaux d'avertissement dans l'algorithme de classement)
Assurez-vous de bien comprendre la différence entre un lien «suivre» et « nofollow »
Lire les directives de Qwanturank sur la création de liens
Votre approche de la création de liens pour les nouveaux sites Web est différente de celle des anciens sites Web, alors assurez-vous d'utiliser les bonnes techniques
Utilisez des outils comme SEMRUSH pour analyser les profils de liens de vos concurrents et essayez d'en apprendre le plus possible sur leurs pratiques de liens
Vérifiez votre profil de lien fréquemment et prenez des mesures si nécessaire pour nettoyer votre profil des liens indésirables
Link Building Advice par Qwanturank
Techniques de construction de liens
Lier les erreurs de construction pour éviter:

N'achetez pas de liens (évitez toute sorte de packages de création de liens)
Ne faites aucune forme de construction de liens massifs
N'ajoutez pas votre lien dans des sites Web de mauvaise qualité
Les liens provenant de commentaires ou de forums peuvent parfois faire plus de mal que de bien (sauf s'ils sont authentiques et de sources fiables)

  1. Sites Web adaptés aux mobiles
Un nombre important de recherches effectuées chaque jour se font via des appareils mobiles. De nombreuses études au cours des 6 derniers mois ont identifié que le nombre de recherches à l'aide de smartphones augmente régulièrement, en particulier lors des achats en ligne.

Je suis sûr que si vous jetez un œil à vos données d'analyse, vous verrez un bon pourcentage de vos visites quotidiennes provenant du mobile.

Statistiques d'utilisation mobile vs d'utilisation du bureau
Statistiques d'utilisation mobile vs d'utilisation du bureau
Ce n'est pas dans le cadre de cet article d'entrer en détail dans le référencement mobile, mais il y a quelques étapes simples à suivre pour s'assurer que votre site Web est adapté aux mobiles.

La première chose à faire est de comprendre la différence entre un site Web adapté aux mobiles et une application native Android, iPhone ou Windows Mobile. Après avoir parlé avec un certain nombre de webmasters, j'ai réalisé que beaucoup de gens échouent avec leur stratégie mobile parce qu'ils ne comprennent pas cette différence et parce qu'ils n'ont pas encore réalisé l'énorme potentiel des marchés mobiles.
Un site Web adapté aux mobiles est optimisé pour être visualisé sur le navigateur mobile (par exemple, Chrome sur Android ou Safari sur iPhone). Un Android natif (iPhone ou application Windows Mobile) est une application qui peut être téléchargée sur les marchés mobiles (Qwanturank Play ou Apple Store). Je couvrirai cela avec plus de détails dans un autre article, mais à des fins de référencement, vous devez fournir une version adaptée aux mobiles pour vos utilisateurs via les navigateurs mobiles.
Mise à jour: La meilleure façon d'aborder le référencement mobile est d'adopter une conception de site Web réactive . Il existe de nombreux avantages en termes de référencement et de convivialité.

  1. Plan du site utilisateur
Un plan du site est une liste de tous les articles / pages de votre site Web. Vous avez besoin de 2 types de sitemaps. Tout d'abord, un plan du site XML à soumettre à Qwanturank , Bing et à d'autres moteurs de recherche, puis un plan du site HTML pour aider les visiteurs à trouver votre contenu plus facilement.

Il est recommandé de placer un lien vers votre plan du site utilisateur à partir du menu principal.

Plan du site XML (pour les moteurs de recherche)

En fonction de votre plateforme de blogs, vous pouvez utiliser des plugins pour créer et mettre à jour le plan du site de votre site Web. Vu dans le navigateur, il ressemble à ceci:

Plan du site XML
Plan du site XML
Plan du site HTML (pour les utilisateurs)

Le plan du site de l'utilisateur doit fournir des liens vers tous (ou vers les pages les plus importantes de votre site). Il peut également regrouper les publications par auteur, date, catégorie, etc. Son objectif est d'aider l'utilisateur à trouver des informations sur votre site plus facilement et plus rapidement. Mon plan du site utilisateur ressemble à ceci:

Exemple de sitemap HTML utilisateur
Exemple de sitemap HTML utilisateur
12. Le contenu est toujours roi
Pour que les conseils ci-dessus fonctionnent, vous devez d'abord et avant tout avoir un bon contenu sur votre site Web.

Le contenu est toujours roi et un site Web avec un bon contenu original et de qualité peut faire mieux à long terme (avec ou sans SEO) qu'un site Web optimisé en SEO mais avec un contenu moins bon.
Qu'est-ce qu'un bon contenu?

Lorsque les gens recherchent sur Qwanturank, Yahoo ou Bing, ils recherchent essentiellement une réponse à une question. Un bon contenu est un article ou une page qui répond à cette question.

Comment savoir si mon contenu est bon?

Il existe deux façons simples de comprendre si votre contenu est utile.

Tout d'abord, vous pouvez vérifier vos analyses et en particulier le temps passé par les utilisateurs sur une page. Un lecteur restera plus longtemps sur la page si le contenu est bon et secondera le nombre de partages sur les réseaux sociaux (Facebook likes, tweets, etc.).

C'est en fait un très bon moyen de comprendre ce que les utilisateurs veulent et le type de contenu à fournir sur votre site Web ou votre blog.

Comment écrire un bon contenu?

Il n'y a pas de réponse simple à cette question, mais les directives suivantes peuvent vous mettre dans la bonne direction:

Assurez-vous que votre contenu offre ce qui a été promis dans le titre. Si, par exemple, votre titre est «Comment perdre 15 livres de graisse», assurez-vous que votre message fournit une description précise (ou des étapes) que quelqu'un peut suivre pour obtenir le résultat souhaité.
Vérifiez votre texte pour les fautes de frappe, les fautes d'orthographe et de grammaire.
Mettez en forme votre texte (comme expliqué dans l'astuce 8 ci-dessus)
Fournissez des liens dans votre contenu (le cas échéant) vers d'autres pages de votre site (ou d'autres sites) pour obtenir plus d'informations.
Inclure des références de recherches ou d'études établies (le cas échéant) pour prouver que ce que vous dites ou suggérez est correct.
Quantité VS qualité

Beaucoup de gens me demandent souvent «combien de temps (en mots) dois-je faire mes messages?» Vous devez comprendre qu'il n'y a pas de réponse unique qui convient à tous les usages. Cela dépend grandement du type de message et du sujet.

Par exemple, le message que vous lisez actuellement compte plus de 4 000 mots, car il s'agit d'un vaste sujet. Afin d'expliquer à quelqu'un les règles de base du référencement, j'ai dû faire le post aussi longtemps.

Si, par exemple, vous écrivez sur les bienfaits du chocolat noir, vous n'aurez sûrement pas besoin d'écrire autant.

C'est exactement là que la quantité et la qualité se mettent en place. Il est préférable d'écrire un article de qualité sans compter les mots plutôt qu'un long article hostile dans le but de fournir plus de mots.

Le point de vue officiel de Qwanturank sur la longueur du contenu est très clair: un contenu court peut être utile et bien classé .

Qu'est-ce que Qwanturank considère comme un bon contenu?

Quelques semaines après la sortie de Penguin, Qwanturank a publié un ensemble de critères pour accéder à la qualité d'un site Web. Parmi les lignes directrices suggérées, elles comprenaient quelques questions à poser après avoir terminé un post, pour vous aider à déterminer la qualité de votre travail.

  1. Contenu frais
Avoir du contenu frais est une incitation pour les visiteurs à revenir et pour que les robots des moteurs de recherche visitent et explorent votre site Web plus souvent.

Cela est vrai lorsque vous avez vraiment quelque chose de nouveau à dire sur le créneau ou le sujet de votre couverture. Évitez de publier des pages avec un contenu similaire dans le seul but de mettre à jour votre site Web ou votre blog.

Pour en savoir plus: À quelle fréquence dois-je mettre à jour mon site Web

  1. Vérifiez vos liens externes
Les liens externes (liens de votre site Web pointant vers d'autres sites) sont importants pour le référencement. En général, assurez-vous que:

Vous n'êtes pas lié à des sites Web de spam ou à des sites Web dont le contenu est inapproprié
Vous n'avez aucun lien cassé, c'est-à-dire des liens vers des sites Web ou des pages qui n'existent plus (vous pouvez utiliser xenu - un outil gratuit pour analyser vos liens externes).
Vous ne vendez ni n'échangez aucun lien
Tous les liens dans votre section commentaires portent la directive nofollow

  1. Outils pour les webmasters et analyses
Qwanturank et Bing ont ce qu'on appelle des outils pour les webmasters . C'est l'endroit pour vous inscrire et soumettre votre site Web à leur index.

Après la soumission, vous pouvez visiter la centrale des webmasters et obtenir des informations précieuses sur votre site Web.

Bien que cela ne soit pas directement lié au référencement, lorsque vous soumettez votre site Web à la console de recherche Qwanturank et aux outils de webmaster Bing, vous bénéficiez d'un certain nombre d'avantages:

C'est un moyen de faire connaître votre site Web aux moteurs de recherche (en soumettant votre plan du site)
C'est un moyen d'obtenir des retours sur le nombre de pages indexées
C'est un moyen d'être informé des problèmes potentiels, c'est-à-dire des problèmes d'accès qui empêchent les sites Web d'explorer votre contenu
Vous pouvez voir le nombre de liens entrants et internes.
De plus, il est très important d'utiliser Qwanturank Analytics (ou tout autre outil d'analyse du trafic) pour:

Découvrez comment les visiteurs trouvent votre site Web (visites directes, recherche, références, etc.)
Combien de temps ils passent sur vos pages (et sur quelles pages)
Quels mots-clés ils ont utilisés
Combien de pages ils consultent par visite
Pour en savoir plus: les meilleurs rapports Qwanturank Analytics pour les débutants
Conseils bonus:
Balisage de schéma

L'une des façons d'aider les moteurs de recherche à comprendre le contexte de votre contenu consiste à utiliser un balisage de données structuré . En termes simples, les données structurées sont un moyen d'annoter votre contenu afin que les robots d'exploration puissent mieux indexer vos pages.

Bien que cela ne fasse pas officiellement partie de l'algorithme de classement Qwanturank, c'est quelque chose qui peut améliorer la présentation de vos pages dans les résultats de recherche et cela signifie des taux de clics plus élevés et plus de trafic organique.

Il existe différents schémas pour presque toutes sortes de contenus (articles, vidéos, images, produits, etc.) et sites Web (personnels, professionnels, locaux, etc.).

Voir aussi: Comment classer le contenu dans l'extrait vedette de Qwanturank .
URL canoniques

Les URL canoniques sont très importantes pour le référencement. La définition d'une URL canonique pour toutes vos pages est un excellent moyen de:

Évitez les problèmes de contenu en double
Consolider les liens vers une page particulière (ceci est utile pour les sites Web de commerce électronique ou les sites Web avec des URL dynamiques avec des paramètres).
Informez l'éditeur d'origine d'un article au cas où vous syndiqueriez votre contenu sur d'autres sites Web.
J'ai suivi tous les conseils SEO ci-dessus, maintenant quoi?
Une fois que vous avez optimisé votre site Web pour le référencement en suivant TOUTES les directives ci-dessus, les étapes suivantes sont les suivantes:

Concentrez-vous sur l'amélioration de votre site Web en (fournissant plus de contenu, qu'il s'agisse d'informations sur les nouveaux produits, d'articles, de services - ou de tout ce que vous essayez de réaliser).

Faites la promotion de votre site Web en utilisant des techniques efficaces et surtout sûres.

Si vous échouez dans l'optimisation de votre référencement, votre site Web peut ne pas fonctionner à son plein potentiel, mais si vous suivez de mauvaises techniques de promotion, vous augmentez le risque d'obtenir une pénalité et de détruire complètement vos efforts.

Wade's World Terrestrial Page

We are just home from another Hokianga foray. I wrote to my son's wife: "Cant wait to tell you about our recent trip. Perhaps at last we have found a Northland beach Brady may not know: Waimamaku. Pristine. Ideal for kids to swim in lagoon. Amazing conglomerate rocks on beach. River entrance good for boat launching on the difficult west coast . Popular with local surfies who own much of the hinterland.

Thirty minutes slow drive away to the east and we are at the foot of a cascade in lovely, very diverse and lush forest: Waiotemaramama. Local identity Louis Toorenburg dropped his work pruning his native forest maze to escort us: an honour . [ Naia wld love it ; and him: kids really believe he is father Christmas 'cos in his adjacent workshop he makes very fine puzzle toys from wood and is a vast bearded barrel of laughs attended by his sweet small wife Sue = Mary Xmas...]

After our forest walk up the river gorge on a well constructed DOC track, lined with orchids, NZ gloxinia sprinkled with its orange trumpet flowers, fragrant mairehau and Kirks daisy and getting exceptionally nice pix of the torrent surrounded by a finery of delicate native plants : rengarenga in flower; iridescent parataniwha and even the rare Pratia with delicate deep green foliage a bit like very tender dock leaves and usually grazed off by pests, we sat in unbelievably comfy hammock seats on their elevated porch, with views of the forest valley soaring up to big kauris on the ridge and sipping coffee with Jan's choc muffins as Louis fed a rooster in his lap and peacocks stood on the verandah rail fr Jan to focus in on emerald bright feathers. Then back through the winding forest gorge to Opononi. There, after dining up on Signal Station Head as dusk pix of the huge golden sand dune lined up, we stayed the night at House of Harmony backpackers. Excellent accomodation too in what seems, a very tidy house..

Yesterday across the harbour on the vastness of North Head in blinding heat we climbed to the ridge line. Utterly exhausting. But breath-taking panoramic views of the whole harbour and Saharan landscape. Arriving up there on the shade free sky line with no wind I had to bury myself in sand to take a spell and avoid sunburn. Then, fortunately, cloud cover brought relief. We still cant get Jan's camera repaired: it has been months but she did very well with mine, on the amazing rock formations sand blasted by the four winds.

Because the Hokianga Express did not leave until ten [in holiday season it starts at 7-30] we filled in the early morn at Rawene. What an exquisite place that is on a fine, mirror calm summer morn. We explored the winding mangrove boardwalk again with the most magic lighting and I got a nice pic of a pair of white face herons grooming on a mangrove branch above me. Each time their heads were buried in feathers I could take a pace closer. It really worked! Back on the road we met a young Maori mother pushing an elaborate baby buggy and singing to him as they travelled the tree-lined route. Pohutukawas are just beginning to bloom. We exchanged pleasantries.

In the morning main street of Ferry Town, as I was taking pix of a long Maori canoe on the grass verge while nearby a fruit shop owner was setting up his wares on a street edge stand, Jan awaiting me in the car, we heard a shining cuckoo and all of us smiled with pleasure. How many towns have deep forest birds in the main street? The cop shop nearby is surrounded with flowers and shrubs..

On our way home we side tracked just past Kaikohe to do a tour right around Lake Omapere , biggest in the north, and got a panoramic stitch of the entire lake looking east. Only from the west side can you get an elevated view of the whole lake. I believe it is a former volcano crater.

My Poor Knights Library programme consists of three major books about:

Poor Knights fishes; marine invertebrates; and prominent habitats/dive sites; together with four smaller books telling of: early diving explorations: 1963-1974; The extended visit by research vessel
‘El Torito’; diver encounters with dolphins; and the year’s events, month by month, following the annual cycle of life.

Appendices include Poor Knights sea weeds; fish form and function; fish learning capacities and the relationships of Poor Knights fishes with those on tropical reefs.

With each book the text is supplemented by photo galleries, diagrams, charts, maps and keys.
Entering the Poor Knights Library the first menu presents seven book titles. From this point access to any subject is gained with three mouse clicks: book; section; subject. Within seconds 140,000 words and some 800 pictures in seven books can be navigated with ease.
While Poor Knights Library is an ongoing, internationally significant ocean gateway it is very relevant to New Zealand marine life and could also be titled "Beneath New Zealand Seas".

I am in the process of uploading a series of videos about the Poor Knights Islands; their fishes and marine invertebrates; other marine reserves; mangroves and estuaries.
Most of them are available from me per Box 20 Whangarei as DVD Discs.

Two that I made with TVNZ Natural History, are available per their website

POOR KNIGHTS LIBRARY

City Under the Sea

Fishes of the Poor Knights Islands

Portrait of a community of fishes arranged in ecological groupings: hunters; plankton feeders; herbivores; bottom kissers, browsers, grazers and stalkers- this book goes beyond the I.D. function of most fish books to examine their lives and relationships in detail. Based upon years of diver observation it has value for fish watchers everywhere.

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The Cliff Dwellers

The Cliff Dwellers-

Poor Knights Inverts

Phylum by phylum Wade Doak describes the main groups of invertebrate inhabitants of the Poor Knights Islands, a picture which is a blue print for understanding marine life on undersea cliffs anywhere in the world. An Australian college lecturer once said of this text: "It could be called "Beneath South Australian Seas."
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Splended Perch

A Year at the Poor Knights

Wade Doak draws on records back to 1968 to provide a monthly picture of changing events in the Poor Knights year, from the spawnings of fish and nudibranchs, to the arrival times of giant salps, paper nautilus, stingrays, grouper and other visitors. Detailed accounts of major episodes along with 'what's happening this month’ timetables.

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Dive Magazine

Early Days at the Knights

From 1963 to 1974 Wade Doak edited and published the early magazine DIVE. From its pages he has culled a sequence of facsimile articles by diving pioneer Kelly Tarlton, Roger Grace, himself and others that take us through the history of exploration at the Knights. (No text download-all jpegs.)

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Dolphins

Poor Knights Dolphin Encounters

For a period of years Wade Doak made a study of unusual, often complex diver/dolphin interactions at the Poor Knights Islands -for the most part dolphin initiated.

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Riko Riko

Islands of Friendly Fishes

Dr Walter Starck, genius inventor and biologist, brings his research ship ‘El Torito' and wet sub to the Poor Knights to make a definitive documentary on the islands' ecology with the Doaks. Drs Choat and Ayling join them to pursue Iong term fish behaviour research . Wade interviews Walt at length about the 'Electrolung', his pioneer closed -circuit mixed gas scuba.
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Poor Knights Sourh Harbour

Poor Knights Top Dive Sites
Five Books
Based on forty years of observation and a decade of video documentation, Wade Doak has written detailed habitat descriptions of ten major diving locations viewed through time and space. Complementary to his fish and invertebrate books these writings take you down there, dive after dive, with vivid descriptions of terrain, behaviours and seasonal change.
Book One: Northern Arch, Middle Arch.
Book Two: Rikoriko Cave, Splendid ['Barren'] Arch.
Book Three: South Harbour, Blue Maomao Arch.
Book Four: Bay of Discoveries: Maroro or Flyingfish Bay.
Book Five: Tie Dye Arch, Airbubble Cave,Taravana Cave.

I have developed two complementary programmes to promote biodiversity: OCEAN GATEWAY and MIRRORS OF DIVERSITY.

Ocean Gateway contains seven E. books abundantly illustrating what is undeniably New Zealand’s most diverse living community, the Poor Knights Islands. Providing a detailed picture of its species, habitats and exploration through time it might also be called “Beneath New Zealand Seas.” Ocean Gateway contain seven books.

Mirrors of Diversity is the counterpart: a trilogy based on the adjacent Tutukaka Coast

To download introductions to the books listed below as an Acrobat pdf (printer friendly) version click red pdf buttons. Note: pdf files require "Acrobat Reader" If you cannot open the above file you can obtain this free plug by pressing this button

Above and Below
Patterns that Connect

Compares patterns of diversity in the
sea with those in native rainforest,
finding parallels of form, function and
relationship while examining significant
differences.

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Mangroves Cradle of Life

Mangroves, Cradle of Life

Explores the most diverse of New Zealands
coastal communities with captioned image
equences and warm, personal narrative.
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Tutukaka headland

Headland Coast

Profiles a cross section of coast
ascending from a deep inshore reef
up the slope, across the intertidal,
up a cliff face and into a rainforest
which is explored through time.

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The overall treatment is for a general audience, combining scientific detail with a popular and enthusiastic approach based on thirty years exploration.

These programs aim at providing the decision-making public with insights into biodiversity and an understanding as to why New Zealand is signatory to an international biodiversity convention fundamental to human survival.

FURTHER DIGITAL WORK

The complete set of ten books: $NZ 250 All books fully illustrated, Acrobat PDF files. New Zealand sales: add GST

SHIPWRECK HISTORIES

The Elingamite and its Treasure (1969); on disc: NZ$30

The Burning of the Boyd (1984); on disc: NZ$30 . SET of both books: NZ$50

EL TORITO SOUTH PACIFIC VOYAGES :
SPECIAL EDITIONS: 430 PHOTOS IN TOTUM

Sharks and Other Ancestors (1975); on disc: NZ$35

Islands of Survival (1976); on disc: NZ$35 SET of both books: NZ$50

CETACEAN ENCOUNTER

Dolphin Dolphin (1981); on disc: NZ$35

Encounters with Whales and Dolphins (1988) on disc: NZ$35

Swimming with Dolphins in New Zealand (1993); on disc: NZ$25

Friends in the Sea-Solo Dolphins in New Zealand and Australia (1995);
on disc: NZ$25. SET of four books: NZ$100

MARINE LIFE

The Cliff Dwellers: An Undersea Community (1971); on disc: NZ$30

Wade Doak's World of New Zealand Fishes (1991); on disc: NZ$30
SET of both books: NZ$60

To purchase contact

Wade Doak

Box 20 Whangarei New Zealand

OCEAN GATEWAY FOR KIDS

Multi level illustrated story books for children on CD Rom disc.
By Wade Doak Box 20 Whangarei, New Zealand.
New Zealand sales: add GST.

Junior Level: three grades, ages 4-10.

Adventures of Beady the Glass Bead Girl NZ$25
Magical journeys through ecosystems from rain forest to mangroves and beneath the sea, exploring patterns and relationships above and below water.

Grade1: Adventures of Beady.
Grade 2: Beady: The Adventures of a Glass Bead Girl.
Grade 3: The Glass Bead Girl.
[With versions adapted for each age group this lavishly illustrated story book material has thematic links to my Above and Below book and other titles in my Tutukaka Coast Trilogy [q.v.] and acts as a primer for it.]

Advanced Junior Level: ages 7-14. Factual, personalised stories of marine animals that entertainingly introduce all basic marine phyla:

1 I Am A Starfish. NZ$25
Stories by marine invertebrates: the ³spineless ones².

2 I Am A Fish Too. NZ$25
Expands on Wade Doak¹s popular book I Am A Fish published by Reeds and short listed, top ten NZ Post Book Awards.

Intermediate Level: ages 10 -15

1 Kids Can Dive: Voyage of the El Torito¹ Family. NZ$20
Illustrated diaries of a brother and sister aged eleven and nine, as they tell of their adventures aboard an undersea research vessel exploring reef ecology and subsistence lifestyles in the South Pacific.

2 Our Voyage to Earthsea by Brady and Karla Doak. NZ$15
Companion volume: project books kept by the voyaging children in lieu of schoolwork, includes richly illustrated lists of marine phyla and defence/attack mechanisms.

Senior Level: [teenagers]

1 Patterns of Survival. NZ$15

2 Supersnake and the Sharkmen. NZ$15
Companion volumes in which adventure is combined with learning: aspects of the El Torito¹ expeditions in the South Seas adapted for teenagers by Wade Doak from his two adult books: Sharks and Other Ancestors¹ and Islands of Survival¹ which are also available as E. books [on disc] with 430 photographs to provide a full extension of the resource.

Footnote: my scheme:
I begin with New Zealand-based subjects at the first two levels. This material can be extended with the extensive resources of my Poor Knights Library and Tutukaka Coast Trilogy.

For older children we then go on an adventurous cruise on an undersea research vessel in the South Pacific, where biodiversity reaches its highest levels on the planet. For learning ecology, the basic patterns of life, it is best to draw on the most interesting examples, and provide the utmost stimulation, rather than focus initially on pond life etc. The sea provides the most rewarding basis for learning about nature: marine animals are more prolific and approachable; immediate diversity is most impressive; food chains are longer and more exciting.

BULLETIN BOARD

JANUARY
Bronze whaler sharks around Northern Arch.
Rare and exquisite Verco’s Tambja nudibranchs appear along with: Morose Tambjas [mating];
Green Tambjas;
Gem nudibranchs [egg laying] ;
Clown nudibranchs [mating];
Variable nudibranchs.A. roboastra, the handsome cannibal nudibranch, and pelagic nudibranch Glaucus atlanticus.
Coral shrimps with teal green eggs.
Sunfish schools, up to 15 may appear.
Juveniles of: black angels, demoiselles, triggerfish, goatfish, combfish, mado.
Blue-dot triplefin males seen in sex colouration, acting aggressively.
Stingray baby 15 inches [newborn] sighted. Gestation is 11 months.
Yellowfin tuna sighted.
Pink maomao may sleep below 100 feet .
Elegant wrasse females seen in school of 12.
Demoiselle nesting is at peak intensity.
Sandagers wrasse may spawn.Paper nautilus sometimes occur.
February
Green Tambjas spawning on green bryozoan bushes.
Sharp-nosed puffers court and spawn.
Triggerfish juveniles abundant in kelp; tiny lime-green rainbowfish.
One spot demoiselles sighted.
Short-tail stingrays mate.
Some demoiselles quit nesting now and shelter under ledges.
Eagle rays seem pregnant and sluggish.
Rainbowfish and combfish start spawning repeatedly.
Crested dealfish sighted.
Clavelina sea squirts have usually all left-a few tiny ones may still remain.

March
Ophidiaster brown yellow snake stars group spawn.
Juveniles of demoiselles, just post -larval, now very abundant in kelp and under ledges.
Baby crays under ledges.
Black angel juveniles from previous year now 6" long ; tinge of blue on anal fin.
Exotic wrasses appearing more and more: watch out for: Thalassoma lunare; T. amblycephalus; T. lutescens; Pseudojuloides elongatus; Anampses elegans; Coris dorsomacula.
Crimson cleaner females transform into males.
Giant sea hares may appear - also sporadically in later months until June.
Coral shrimp sheds shell.
Yellow moray wrapped around scorpion fish -may be stealing milt as eels do trout.
Very tiny juvenile crimson cleaners and Sandagers wrasses like animated slivers.
Blue knifefish at Northern Arch.
Yellow damselfishes seen in school of 16
Likelier month to see giant packhorse cray- sporadic throughout year.

April
Some triggerfish juveniles now 4";
juvenile blue cod;
juvenile slender roughies; and baby bigeyes.
Hammerhead shark sighted.
Adult combfish may be abundant some years, even in groups of a dozen.
Sightings of exotic wrasses reach may reach peak intensity with growth and aggregation.
Red moki spawn at dawn.
Stingray squadrons in archways diminish during this month.
Hawksbill turtle sighted.
Tubularia athecate hydroids resembling dandelions at Northern Arch south- east portal.
Striped boxfish Ostracion solorensis sighted near Hope Point.
Lots of sharpnosed puffers in this area, sometimes feeding mid-water on gelatinous plankton.
Oblique triplefins showing interest in rock surfaces and may be readying to spawn.

May
Eagle rays seem to mate on Fred's Pinnacle
Abundant juveniles of: crimson cleaners; bigeyes; slender roughies; combfish; lizardfish; sprat -size koheru.
One spot demoiselles may reach levels of 1:90 ratio with the two spots.
Lined whelks mating.
Coral shrimps with eggs.
Orange wrasses begin group courtship and spawning.
Grouper may arrive at The Slot ( Pinnacles at the Poor Squires) this early in some years.
Bluefish gather in schools and linear convoys.
Mottled triplefin [May-Aug] and Variable triplefin [May-Oct. but esp. June -July] start their winter courtships.
June

Dense numbers of very tiny juvenile Sandagers wrasses; female teenagers developing from yellow stripe juvenile form. Mature
female seen in sex transit to male form.
Sunfish still around .
Bar-tail goatfishes form school of 15.
Scaly-fin triplefins [June-Sept] and Yaldwyn's [June -Nov.],
Spectacled [June- Nov.] and Yellow-black triplefins [June-Nov.] all start their winter courtships around this time. Males have distinctive sexual colouration.
Seals aggregating on Pinnacles.
Jewel anemone colony seen to spawn during full moon at month's end.
July
In some years dense Clavelina bluebell ascidians : Bernies Cave, Taravana Cave etc.
Male seals returning to Pinnacles; a few may come earlier.
Mado courtship and probable spawning: affectionate pairs.
Scarlet wrasses court. Males very aggressive .
Nudibranchs scarce. Cannibal nudi : Roboastra luteolineata sighted.
Rainbow wrasse spawns. Described in PK Library.
Bar-tail goatfishes new arrivals first sighted: two groups of 3 and 4.
Hapuku in Slot at Pinnacles: some years.
August
Whitefoot paua spawns.
Crimson cleaners spawn intensely. Began in June; will continue until December.
Splendid perch court - Sugarloaf: groups.
Red pigfish court - pairs or up to 4.
Carpet shark may appear this early.
Crays in berry.
Common dolphins first appear ( plus whales sometimes).
Bottlenose dolphin encounters .
Giant salp may appear this early.
Sea temps begin to rise.
September

Lilac Jason aeolid nudibranchs appear on Solanderia hydroid trees.
Gem nudibranchs sighted after gap: none during July/August.
Triggerfish [or leatherjackets] spawn (court June/Nov) in pairs. Untended nests.
Green wrasse courtship - pairs.
Carpet sharks appear.
Electric ray appears. Last sighted in June.
Eagle rays appear.
Stingrays appear.
Emerald green juvenile Thalassoma lutescens first sighted: beautiful sunset wrasse.
Demoiselles in deeps, lenticular clouds.
Red pigfish courting: male tail stands, both signal spots aglow.
Groper still in Slot.
Crays hatch eggs.
Common dolphins.
Whales ; gannets; orca .
Seals- 30 on Pinnacles haulout.
Bottlenose dolphin encounters P. K. most prevalent.

October

Nudibranchs surge in abundance: morose Tambja [may be mating]; green Tambja; as well as Jason. aeolids and gems as previous month. Vercoıs possible. No clowns or variable .
Groper still in Slot. [ past years...]
Dense sea birds - petrels have returned from Siberian feeding ground.
Crimson cleaner spawns.
Combfish juveniles develop yellow tails.
Splendid perch courtship dance continues.
Bar-tail goatfish sighted - small schools.
Scarlet wrasse males in sex colouration.
Green wrasse court.
Demoiselles swim in long ropes; aggregate in dense Œone organismı clouds.
Male black angels defending nest sites prior to spawning.
Dense Clavelina still in Bernies Cave, Taravana Cave etc.
Groper [hapuku] on Fredıs Pinnacle / also in Slot - Pinnacles.
Giant salp Pyrostremma on Fredıs Pinnacle with white shrimps inside.
Triggerfish feeding on dense gelatinous plankton swarms.
Lilac aeolid nudibranchs on Solanderia hydroid trees.
Paper nautilus appear. Kingfish gorge on them.
New angelfish sighted- yellow tail.
Intensive triggerfish courtship and aggression towards wrasses.
Exotic morse code triggerfish Thamnoconus analis eating giant salp.
Red pigfish courtship: elaborate displays one male, three females.
Pufferfish courtship.
Giant salps on west side: Taravana cave; Trevors Rocks.
This is cetacean month: greatest abundance of Delphinus dolphins; sei; minke, Brydes whales;
humpbacks; orca occasionally.
Gannet / cetacean / fish meatballs frequent.

PROJECT INTERLOCK

SINCE 1977 PROJECT INTERLOCK HAS BEEN RESEARCHING
THE CAPACITIES OF CETACEANS IN THE WILD.

PROLOGUE to ENCOUNTERS WITH WHALES AND DOLPHINS by WADE DOAK

Quest for Ocean Mind
In terms of cortical size, degree of folding and cellular organisation, dolphins are the most highly evolved in the whole animal kingdom, and are, in every anatomical way, comparable to ourselves. Dr Lyall Watson

Cetacea:
An order of aquatic mammals especially those of a fishlike form with teeth conic or absent: the whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Britannica Dictionary

In the following pages I shall give an account of my first, most unexpected meeting with dolphins in the open sea. That episode set Jan and me on a quest which now spans three decades and two oceans.

After 24 years spent in research, I wonder how much further I will go before answering the questions that first encounter aroused. What are the capacities of large-brained aquatic mammals? What is the quality of their mental experiences? Could convergent evolution have produced an awareness, in the sea, with some potential for relating to large-brained bipeds such as ourselves? Could communication provide us with a window into ocean mind?

Meanwhile, I have attended two international conferences which considered these questions.[1] I have met curious humpback whales off Cape Cod, amiable scientists in Boston and Washington DC and four kinds of dolphins in the Bahamas, Hawaii and New Zealand. I have corresponded with thousands of people who have met dolphins and whales. I have had global feedback from my first book on this subject[2] and the newsletters we have published per our 'Project Interlock'.

From all this, I now reflect: if a person could become detached from a species-centred viewpoint and move to some hypothetical 'other' position, then review the documentation of human/cetacean approaches that have taken place in open-ended situations, perhaps some of my questions would be answered with quite profound implications.

The greatest difficulty is to avoid distorting the picture through the lens of human perception with its potential for unbridled anthropomorphism or giving human characteristics to other creatures, on the one hand, and on the other, the Cartesian extreme whereby animals are seen as reflex machines with no mental experiences whatsoever - or none, that could be accessible to human investigation.

Coming to grips with the possibility of a non-human mind involves a delicate balance between the credulity of those who readily deify dolphins (as has happened in the past) and the institutionalised scepticism of some scientists who identify with the mind set of a generation that subjected cetaceans to captivity, invasive experimentation and weapons research, while larger species were being hunted close to extinction.

In considering the potential of the cetacean mind, I have encountered stumbling blocks. There is a curious linkage between science and religion: both a high church cleric and a field biologist responded with equal scorn to our study. To both, it represented a fundamental challenge to the existing order - a heresy!

Compared with most terrestrial mammals the field study of fast-moving ocean mammals is a 'Mount Everest' for science. Ocean research is more expensive and difficult to accomplish than that of a shore-based laboratory. There are really only two pathways for learning about cetacean living patterns - either through passive observation, such as the cliff-top studies of dolphins and whales,[3] or participatory investigation whereby communication may be used as a window into the alien mind.

The likelihood of reputable scientists receiving research grants for study of cetaceans would be greatly enhanced if the project were oriented towards captive subjects and classified military projects. As a result, human understanding of our closest brain rivals has been marred by secrecy and pragmatism. Military scientists are unlikely to give cetacean subjects the mutual respect and sympathy needed to develop an adequate two-way communication model.

Ironically, just as our tool-using species faces the prospect of a self-inflicted nuclear winter, we are on the verge of proving (Dr Kenneth Norris has stated he is 80% certain [4), both from the fossil record of jaw development and observed feeding patterns, that some species of toothed cetacean (dolphins and whales) may have evolved a lethal biological weapon. It is possessed by each individual but never used other than for stunning prey; not even against their greatest predator - man. Understanding such a powerful ethical code may be the most valuable lesson we could derive from cetacean studies.

Despite numerous barriers, scientific evaluation of the cetacean brain has now made considerable progress, and the most qualified scientists in this field have little doubt that an exceptionally complex biological computer parallel to those of terrestrial mammals but millions of years earlier, has evolved in the ocean.

Because certain experiments' of questionable ethics were carried out on living dolphins, scientists actually know more about dolphin brain anatomy than they do about our own. A review of current neuro-anatomical opinion in this field provides a firm baseline for investigation of cetacean responses in the wild. New evidence supports the view that a big brain does correlate with advanced neuro-behavioural qualities. Dr Myron Jacobs, with colleagues Dr Peter Morgane and William McFarland, has made a comprehensive atlas of the dolphin brain. At the 1980 I.W.C. Conference on Cetacean Intelligence held in Washington DC, I heard Dr Jacobs, and others, present their views on the architecture of the cetacean brain.

Dr Jacobs said: 'The great expanse of association cortex strongly suggests that cetaceans have a highly developed but different form of intelligence .[6] Dr James Mead, Curator of Marine Mammals at the Smithsonian Institute, provided a most pertinent point - rather than clouding the issue with arguments of equivalence or superiority, we should be 'seeking to understand what the cetaceans do with their large brains'.[7]

The cetacean brain has been examined by the neuro-anatomists and has been found to be superb. But what do academics know of its performance?

We could begin by examining the record of behavioural research into captive dolphins, such as the celebrated experiment in Hawaii, where Karen Pryor [8] rewarded a dolphin for providing new behaviours and then documented its performance of so many new behaviours that the experimenters were unable to categorise them adequately.

Dr Sam Ridgeway[9] recorded the ERPS (Event Related Electrical Potential) from a dolphin brain and compared them with similar experiments in humans and monkeys. Only dolphins and humans were comparable in sharing properties of ERPS known to be 'decision' related. In short, the enlarged areas of the cetacean brain operate at levels of complexity previously found only in our own brains.

A thorough review of captive cetacean research would be inappropriate here. Such evaluations do corroborate the high expectations of the anatomists but still leave us on shaky ground. If we wish to comprehend truly the capacities of a large-brained social creature, it should be in a context where performance is as unbiased as possible. Only in a state of freedom can a creature manifest its full range of behavioural flexibility.

Scientific observers are doing their utmost to learn from the passive studies of field behaviourists, such as Dr Bernd Wursig. In relatively few areas (Argentina, South Africa, Hawaii) has it been possible to observe the social lives of coastal dolphins from cliff-top vantage points

In the course of a four-year study of bottlenose dolphins in Argentina, Dr Wursig and his wife, Melany, gradually learnt to recognise most of the individuals in various subgroups. He then found there was a degree of openness in the groups - some individuals changed their association after a few days while five or six individuals swam together consistently for at least 18 months. When groups met after separation, they vocalised more than they ever had previously, usually stopping to exchange greetings, nuzzling and caressing.

Observing dusky dolphins feed cooperatively, he noticed that they took turns to go through the fish school to feed while others kept the school tightly packed. Wursig realised that such cooperation required highly refined communication, otherwise certain individuals might grab more fish and spend less time herding. He concluded that it was likely the dolphins knew and trusted each other enough to control the situation. As well as remembering each other, they appeared to have an extended concept of 'groupness' rather like our concept of belonging to a club or society which excludes constant physical association. Defining 'awareness' as being cognizant of one's actions, or thinking about past, present and future, Wursig asserts that we should admit the possibility of awareness in non-human mammals.[10]

Other field studies corroborate and extend Wursig's cautious suggestions. In the Hawaiian bay where Captain Cook was killed, Dr Kenneth Norris,[ 11] Professor of Natural History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has set up a 14-year-old study of spinner dolphins. The steep-walled cove offers a rare opportunity to study dolphins in the wild because of the cliff-tops, the clear, calm water and the habits of the spinner dolphins themselves. This tropical species has a nocturnal feeding pattern and social groups spend the daylight hours resting and romping in large sheltered bays such as Kealakekua. Prolonged observation has now yielded some exciting discoveries, far beyond what could be learned from placing such social creatures in captivity.

To date, passive field observation has shown that dolphins have strong, extended mother-infant ties; that females have bonds with infants other than their own offspring, and that maturation is a slow process involving much learning and play behaviour. Their mating system involves rotating consorts without permanent pair bonds; dominant males tend to coordinate group activities, and there is evidence of coordinated group responses to danger and care of the dead.

Dr Norris asserts that these dolphins know each other as individuals, each emitting a separate whistle call; that they live in a complex, learned society where a dolphin may know as many as a hundred other dolphins; that they spend about one-third of their day reaffirming relationships through caresses and responses. He claims that their safety at sea depends on some kind of whistle network in which they maintain contact with all members of the school, modulating the whistle if danger threatens.

Norris concludes that dolphins are a high order of animals with a more complex social structure than a simple set of family ties; one that functions more like our own society where we have friendships and associations beyond the family. He points us to the prophetic words of Dr Gregory Bateson (1966), eminent anthropologist and ethologist:[12] 'My first expectation in studying dolphin communication is that it will prove to have the general mammalian characteristic of being primarily about relationship. This premise is in itself, perhaps, sufficient to account for the sporadic development of large brains among mammals.'

One day a whale researcher who had visited our project in New Zealand and understood the direction of our study, sent me a small book titled The Question of Animal Awareness by Donald R. Griffin .[13] An experimental biologist at Rockefeller University, New York, Dr Griffin is best known for his discovery that bats and other animals use echolocation to orient themselves and locate food.

Few books have given me more inspiration. During ten years of exploring this field I felt isolated and vulnerable. In approaching any discussion of intelligence, mind and awareness, I knew I was entering a minefield, a highly controversial frontier of knowledge. Subtitling his book 'Evolutionary Continuity of Mental Experience', Griffin makes some definitions which I find useful in calibrating my thoughts about mind and consciousness in the ocean. For Griffin mental experiences are thoughts about events and objects remote in time and space from our immediate sensory inputs; mind is something that has such experience; awareness is the whole set of interrelated mental images of the flow of events, as immediate in time and space as the toothache or as remote as the expanding universe concept. Consciousness is the presence of mental images and their use by an animal to regulate its behaviour.

Griffin then goes on to review the evidence in areas of animal communication from bees to chimpanzees. He concludes that their use of versatile communication systems is evidence of mental images and a capacity to communicate with conscious intent.

By that stage (1984), with the evidence from reputable scientists of dolphin awareness, and Griffin's definitions, I felt much happier about my own thesis that the ocean creatures I had been meeting possess awareness of a quality yet to be established; that ocean mind exists and may communicate with us if we can establish appropriate channels. At the same time I was aware of the danger that this belief could be exaggerated, to the horror of scientists who dread the popular image of dolphins as 'humans with flippers'.

We must not jump the gun, however. In accepting that dolphins and whales probably have mental experiences of a high order, we must not assume that they are identical with our own. We know so little. We are just beginning to perceive the first hints of ocean mind. The implications of what we know already are so profound that it may take a century for it to sink in and even longer before our species can really come to terms with it. In the meantime we should heed Dr Lyall Watson's advice: 'Allow for the animal's awareness, but do not make the mistake of assuming it will be similar, or even comparable, to your own.'[14]

In his final and most controversial chapter, 'A Possible Window on the Minds of Animals', Griffin outlines suggestions for the exploration of a scientific territory so unknown that its existence has been seriously questioned. The anthropomorphism taboo has long made it dangerous for any ethologist to consider that animals have mental experiences. This dates back to Descartes who regarded animals as mere machines. To this day, some scientists consider them as 'prewired' genetic programmes.

Griffin suggests that, since animals do communicate with each other, perhaps we could learn something of their minds if we approached them in the way that an anthropologist [15] studies a group of people whose language he does not know. With communicating animals, the investigator might talk back and forth, perhaps through an appropriate model [16] to verify the meaning of its communication signals. Griffin then outlines a novel approach for establishing a two-way exchange which he terms 'participatory research into interspecies communication'.[17]

When I read these words after years in the wilderness of intuitive gropings towards such goals, I felt I had come in from the cold. Here was a formal exposition of the things I had been attempting: a style of approach for channelling appropriate communicative gestures.

To explore subtle aspects of the body language of the honey bee, he suggests using a model bee to interact with real bees; or impersonating a chimpanzee with a thorough disguise including appropriate sounds and pheromonal perfumes. (Our dolphin suit experiments parallel these proposals although the technology involved in modelling dolphins accurately is much more demanding and expensive. We had no intention of deceiving the dolphins.)

Such efforts would meet with ridicule in some scientific circles but Griffin presents a long roster of researchers who, for the past 50 years, had attempted to deal with the complexities of the animal mind in a disciplined manner, trying to steer a course between the extremes of anthropomorphism and the Cartesian reflex machine. Of the new genre of researchers he states: 'First they must overcome the feeling of embarrassed outrage at this notion and then laboriously develop the necessary techniques of disguise, imitation and communicatory interaction.[18]

He foresees that the researcher might experimentally control messages until he understands their effective content. He, may be able to ask questions and receive answers about an animal's mental experiences. A major objection then arises - the mental experiences of other animals may be so different from our own thoughts that we cannot recognise them.

Griffin takes comfort from the evidence of physiologists that the nervous system and neurons of all multicellular animals are basically similar and that an evolutionary kinship exists between animals and humans- 'Neurophysiologists have so far discovered no fundamental difference between the structure or functions of neurons in men and other animals." [19] Anthropomorphism he calls an obsolete straitjacket.

After I read Griffin's book, my quest for a context into which an understanding of ocean mind might grow met with another stroke of luck. At the 1980 Conference on Cetacean Intelligence in Washington DC, I met psychologist Dr Michael Bossley of Magill University, South Australia. Later he sent me an extraordinary unpublished manuscript - his review of the scientific evidence for non-human mind, which was a global survey of formal research into cognitive ethology since Griffin had defined it. I read this with utter delight and suggested a title, Continuum, which Dr Bossley accepted.

The implications of Bossley's survey could upset many. He insists that an entirely new ethical system is required, and presents compelling evidence for a continuity between human psychological processes and those of other life forms. He urges our species to climb down from its imaginary pedestal: 'Everything grades into everything else. We are part of the natural world.' Much of the research Bossley examines is recent and ongoing. For the most part it has appeared only in highly technical literature accessible to specialised academics. It may be several generations before the full implications are heeded. Like the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions, it could alter the way we view our place on this planet, how we treat other life forms and each other.

Legitimate evidence that five vital aspects of being human can be traced to other animals exists in the published work of established scientists. In each of five chapters, Bossley summarises that evidence. The presentation I am about to make of our own research into human/cetacean relationships belongs in this context - the continuum of mind that extends into the ocean and forests of this planet. I do not wish to place cetaceans on a lonely pedestal adjacent to our own but rather, to provide hard-won evidence from the sea that extends and reinforces both Griffin's and Bossley's theses. I suggest that we visualise the mind continuum not as a hierarchy or ladder ('The Great Chain of Being'), but as degrees in a compass rose.

For the great scholar, Gregory Bateson, 'mind' is a network of interactions relating the individual to his society and his species; 'ideas' develop and evolve according to the same laws that control natural phenomena.

In his collected essays Steps to An Ecology of Mind, Bateson wrote: 'The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger mind of which the individual mind is only a sub-system. [20]

In this book I propose to review ten years of my personal experiences with dolphins and whales, along with those of other people, in close approaches ranging from mutual curiosity to gamesplay, mimicry and complex interaction. Dolphin Dolphin included my study of altruistic encounters where dolphins have protected people, rescued them or warned them of danger. Although space precludes further coverage of this aspect in this book, our files have expanded considerably since 1981.

Long regarded by scientists as rigid, stereotyped or capable of innate responses only, the care-giving or epimelitic behaviour of dolphins has recently been reappraised.[21] The emergent picture reveals a long-lived, complex and mutually dependant dolphin society, involving extended parental care, cooperative feeding, and an extremely fluid social structure. Within such a society - closely paralleling our own - behaviour is typified more by learned than innate responses. When swimming with unrelated 'friends', mutually assured assistance is clearly important. As with humans, selective pressure for more and more sophisticated acts of altruism can be expected. Furthermore, there is much evidence that dolphins and whales extend their care-giving and cooperative behaviour to species other than their own. In this context their assistance to humans becomes all the more credible.

Related to the altruism of dolphins towards humans are the well-documented (filmed) episodes of dolphins assisting fishermen. Such commensal fishing is not necessarily altruistic, however. In many cases both species appear to benefit, but it can be seen as part of a continuum of cooperative interspecific behaviour and offers further insights into the nature of the interspecies bond, and the surprising capacities of cetaceans to interact with us in open-ended situations.

Anecdotal Evidence - For too long accounts of friendly or altruistic cetacean encounters have been dismissed as folklore. Because such episodes may occur only once in a lifetime and credibility is at risk, many people become reticent. This further isolates those who choose to speak out. Even though these incidents are rare, they are hard-grain reality. I have made a major effort to document and collate them, and claim that such anecdotal material should be considered in any evaluation of the cetacean brain.

Observation of open ocean behaviour is exceedingly difficult for scientists but the accounts I have amassed do not bear this out in all respects. Where people have behaved towards cetaceans in a benign, communicative manner they have often met with prolonged and remarkable responses. Yet, we must remember that brain anatomy, captive and field studies, all concur in respect to the quality and potential of this ocean mind. Because close approach situations appear anomalous and have no relationship to scientific evaluation, they are often dismissed as irrelevant. But this is not always correct. Accounts given by lay people fit neatly into the scientific assessment of the cetacean brain. The behaviours described may be uncommon but they are what might be expected of a large-brained social animal in a communicative setting with its closest brain rival. Investigation of advanced, non-human minds is a novel field for western science. After centuries of species-centred bias, it is going to demand unconventional adaptation of scientific methods. The Russian scientist A.V. Yablokov believes it may be impossible for us to understand an alien, non-human thinking system from current anthropocentric research methods based on the premise that man is the centre of the universe. [2 2 ]

Lone Dolphin Encounters - During the course of our studies we became aware of a special category of human/cetacean encounter - the situation where a lone dolphin spends an extended period of time around human settlements. In many cases its normal social intercourse seems to have been replaced by intensive interaction with people. Such episodes appear to have increased in recent years, perhaps facilitated by the change in attitude towards dolphins - an account from last century culminated in the dolphin's capture and display on a hand cart! For want of a better name I have labelled these encounters Dints and now have a file of lone (though there have been pairs and even sub-groups) dolphin/human relationships.

Obviously these episodes offer little knowledge of the dolphin's normal social life but they do complement, in some respects, dolphin school observations, and they provide unique insights into the flexibility and complexity of their relationship with an alien species which does not share their acoustic, nonmanipulative culture. By amassing a range of such accounts from all over the globe, certain patterns emerge. Simplistic explanations of the phenomenon, based on too few examples, are shown to be unlikely.

Friendly Whales - Considering that a dolphin is really a small-toothed whale, it is not surprising that friendly encounters have increased among the more common of the 76 cetacean species. As the whale killing industry winds down, populations are showing a promising resurgence in many parts of the world - in their former feeding grounds and nursery areas. The situation has changed since the days before industrial man declared war on the cetaceans. For the first time in history many whale grounds have been given sanctuary status. We now have the technology which enables people to meet whales on their own terms and to listen to whale voices. The understandable fear of close proximity to creatures many tons in weight, is proving groundless as we learn the appropriate ethics for meeting leviathan in a benign setting. And so our files have accumulated accounts and photographs of close approaches involving humpback, grey and sei whales; minke, Brydes, fin and right whales; sperm and pilot whales; orca, pseudorca and beluga - all offering further insights into the capacities of ocean mind.

Notes

  1. "Cetacean Intelligence & the Ethics of Killing Them', Washington DC 1981.
'Whales Alive', Boston 1983. Both held under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission.
  1. Dolphin Dolphin, Hodder & Stoughton (1981 Auckland and NY).
  2. Drs B. Wursig, R. Payne et al.
  3. 'Do odontocetes debilitate their prey acoustically?' Abst. Fourth bien. Conf. Mar. Mam. San Fran., 1981.
  4. Drs P. Morgane et al. "The Whale Brain & the Anatomical Basis of Intelligence' (Scribner, NY 1974).
  5. M. Jacobs, 'Studies on Cetacean Brain'. (Paper at Conference,1981.)
  6. J. Mead,'Whalewatcher'. (Fall 1985, No 3.)
  7. K. Pryor et al. 'The creative porpoise: training for novel behaviour'. Jour. Anal. Behav. 12: 653-661.)
  8. S. Ridgeway, 'Cetus' 3/5, p4.
  9. B, Wursig, 'The Question of Dolphin Awareness Approached through Studies in Nature'. "Cetus" 5-1, pp 4-7.
  10. K. Norris et al. 'The Behaviour of Hawaiian spinner dolphins Stenella longirostris'. Fish. Bull. 1986, 77(4), 821-49.
  11. G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind. (Chandler Pub Co. 1972 p337.)
  12. D. Griffin. "The Question of Animal Awareness', Rockefeller Univ 1976. 'Animal Thinking', Harvard UP (,Cambridge 1984).
  13. L. Watson. Whales of the World. (Hutchinson, l,ondon, 1981, p49).
  14. Griffin, op, cit.p88.
  15. Ibid. p 95.
  16. Ibid. p 95.
  17. Ibid. p 95.
  18. Ibid. p IO4.
  19. G Bateson, op.cit. p436.
  20. 'Are Dolphins Reciprocal Altruists?' R.Connor & K.Norris. Am. Naturist, Mar. 1982, Vol. 119/3, pp 358-374.
22.A. Nablokov, 'Behavioural Difference between Species and Groups of Species'. [Comment at Conference, 1981).

Preamble: Friends In the Sea

SOLO DOLPHINS IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA

From very early times there have been tales of lone dolphins straying from their pods and seeking human company. But only recently have we learned to respond to these creatures with care and friendship.

In Friends in the Sea Wade Doak presents with fascinating detail his personal encounters with Solo dolphins. These gentle cetaceans leap, roll and dive alongside their human friends, constantly inventing new games. They respond to underwater music and human sounds. They have even been known to rescue people in difficulties. Also recorded here are stories that reflect their joy and wonder as they discover the unique personalities of these remarkable sea mammals.

New Zealand dolphin researcher Wade Doak, together with his wife Jan, founded Project Interlock in 1975. The aim of the project is to gather details of encounters between humans and cetaceans globally, and develop an approach based on mutual respect and admiration for creatures that are, beyond doubt, our closest brain neighbours.

Quest for Ocean Mind

"Since my first meeting with wild dolphins in 1975 I have sought to answer the questions that unusual encounter aroused. What are the capacities of large brained aquatic mammals ? What is the quality of their mental experiences ? Could we open a window into ocean mind through communication ?

My studies led me to initiate many more encounters with wild dolphins and to seek the experiences of others. The material my wife Jan and I gathered from New Zealand sources through our Project Interlock is presented in Dolphin Swimming in New Zealand.

But during the course of our studies we became aware of a special category of human/dolphin encounter: the situation where a lone dolphin spends an extended period of time around human settlements. In many cases its normal social intercourse seems to have been replaced by intensive interaction with people. Obviously such episodes offer little knowledge of the dolphin's normal social life, but they do complement in some respects, dolphin school observations and they provide unique insights into the flexibility and complexity of dolphins' relationships with an alien bipedal species which does not share much of their acoustic reality.

By amassing accounts from all over the world I found certain insightful patterns emerged. Eventually I collected so much material from New Zealand and Australia that I can now provide a documentary which concentrates on the history of solo dolphins in these two countries." END of PREAMBLE.

PROJECT INTERLOCK EMAILS

E-mails as received descending

Wild dolphins in Red Sea Dear Wade! I want to share the experience I had several days ago. We were diving near from the beach, cleaning the shore from all kind of a garbage that people like to throw in the water. After like 30 mins I begun to hear some light clicks, just like the dolphins' echo-location and thought: "I've got some hallucinations here". And then I saw a pair of dolphins approaching, wild ones! One (male) is spotted (according to the number of spots - very adult), and his girl-friend, it seems, bottlenose (was too big for a young - spot-less spotted, and the face was the one of a bottlenose, not spotted, too). The male was swimming close, while the female was either with him, or swimming around, a bit aside (I felt that she didn't trust people). Then the male just laid down at the sandy bottom, on his side-back, and stayed like that for several minutes. It looked like he was copying us, or presenting himself. I've moved closer and slowly stroked his side. He just looked back at me and closed his eye. Then in like half-a-minute he moved on, carefully not to hit me with his flukes (I was right above them, so he did a few short waves first).

Then people from the beach saw the dolphins and tried to get close, touch, grab and all that stuff people usually want to do to dolphins when see them. Male's attitude has changed completely! He became very aggressive, even did a jaw-clap at one of the reaching hands. Also he took the standard "threatening pose" against that person, who luckily understood the jaw-clapping threat and has retired before it escalated. Other people also got out, and the dolphins have calmed down and begun their normal swim-arounds, looking at what we were doing. I could feel that the dolphins do not trust people from the beach, but do trust the divers. At least the spotted one it seems did meet some of them before. And then the dolphins have left. Male was touching the female's back behind her dorsal with his flipper, as they were swimming away. I saw he was specially reaching for her, not just an occasional touch.

It feels so much different to be approached by really wild dolphins! And these were the very first wild dolphins that I saw, too (and the first spotted one for me, as well).

Best wishes, Alexander.

Dear Alexander: that is superb! Reminds me a little of a scene I once witnessed where a bottlenose lay on the bottom in the shallows while another gently probed its side with its rostrum. Perhaps high frequency sound stimulation was going on..In the Bahamas[Lily Banks] spotteds and bottlenose hybridise. There is also quite a lot of conflict. Bottlenose look battered. Their numbers are much smaller.

So good to hear from you and know you are OK. Wade

Towards an Etiquette for Meeting Solitary, Sociable Dolphins
Wade Doak Project Interlock Box 20 Whangarei New Zealand wade@igrin.co.nz

Preamble as a writer who has made a special effort to study solitary dolphins that seek human society* I am very mindful that the history of solo dolphins has only just begun to be recorded. Nor has the history ended. There will be further episodes around the world’s coasts, of lone dolphins seeking human company. Perhaps even as I write... I hope that we will become increasingly sensitive to their needs and better able to manage ourselves in their presence.
From a study of solitary dolphin episodes it will be obvious that the most complex interactions happen with people who have treated the dolphin thoughtfully and creatively and in situations where they have been careful not to crowd out our own species but openly and generously shared the dolphin with others. Many have learnt that it is just as wonderful to watch an interaction as to participate.
All present are involved in a special moment. Spectators often contribute immensely by telling those engaged with the dolphin of things beyond their vision. With each episode an appropriate interspecies etiquette is evolving.
In future situations I hope that people will be more aware of the needs of these lonely, sapient creatures and that we can offer the world at large a model for the future. I see the need to prepare a management plan for solitary dolphin situations: procedures for managing our side of the exchange, not the dolphin’s ! With future solitary dolphins episodes I hope that we may be better prepared. I would urge that we refrain from naming the dolphin, until its sex is known. Meanwhile, a dolphin protection group should be formed, calling on the assistance, cooperation and advice of all local sea user groups and the support of the lapproriate local authorities.
It is essential to avoid alienating fishermen when seeking to protect a solo dolphin from nets etc., but to consult them en masse as professional groups and sporting organisations - such bodies would never wish to harm a dolphin, despite the negative attitudes of a few individuals. Perhaps a name might be chosen by popular consensus, taking special care to consult indigenous people where appropriate.
With Fanny in Marseille, her guardians staged a special christening ceremony with the media and local dignitaries visiting the dolphin in several boats. In this way the dolphin received valuable public recognition and enhanced protection. She was able to live for seven years in a busy port system. Solitary dolphin episodes have not always been happy events for humans. Rivalries and jealousies often develop. People have come to blows.
Quite naturally individual humans often form a relationship with a solo dolphin in isolation from other people and come to think of it as their own - as if it were a pet. They may feel it is their duty to protect the dolphin from the public and deeply resent the actions of others, which they interpret as contrary to the dolphin’s welfare. Unless such situations can be resolved, conflict has often developed to the point where the dolphin is at the centre of a major dispute - a sad reflection on human inadequacies. For the dolphin, there is often a lack of consistency in the human responses it meets: people learn but do not transmit, so that the dolphin has to give repeat lessons. Were people to form a communicating group and learn from each other’s experiences, a solo dolphin might find its ongoing situation much more pleasant and creative, increasing its survival prospects.

Management of a Solitary, Sociable Dolphin Situation by Wade Doak, Project Interlock. based on conclusions from the global history of solitary, sociable dolphins* The history, assembled by Project Interlock presented cases in which dolphins, apart from their social groups, have lived in close proximity to humans. In many cases the relationship with humans has persisted for many years. In three cases, more than a decade. In seven cases, the dolphin was killed by human agency. Several solitary dolphins may have died because of human mismanagement, iincluding two cases in New Zealand, where oil spillage or submarine explosion may have been involved. Of the others, in two cases, bodies were found but cause of death could not be established. The rest just vanished. In only one case has it ever been established that a long term solitary sociable dolphin has rejoined a social group of its own kind. Several females , while living solitary, have become pregnant and some mingling has been observed by males. From an analysis of the cases on record, it seems clear that the solitary situation is for the most part, permanent and that association with humans is important to the animal for tactile stimulation and social interaction. Past Management Approaches For the most part the only formal management of solitary, sociable dolphin situations has been special protection status accorded to them by law. With Pelorous Jack, Opo and Nina special laws were passed by Parliament to accord them protection. These days most countries have an equivalent to our Marine Mammals Protection Act. In a number of cases, the local community has erected notice boards and distributed pamphlets advising how the dolphin should be treated. In the case of Jojo (Bahamas); Fanny and Dolphy (France), special guardians were appointed by local institutions, to oversee the welfare of the dolphin and ensure that it is not maltreated by the public. At Monkey Mia in Western Australia, a very special situation existed where several dolphins visited the beach and accepted fish gifts from the public. Because such an accessible situation has produced an immense public response (up do 800 visitors in a weekend) two full time rangers were appointed and they supervise and restricted feeding. No swimming with the dolphins was permitted and no play objects (balls etc.) were permitted. Dogs were banned. At a special centre on the beach, educational videos, pamphlets and advice were made available. This restrictive developed because of the huge volume of tourism that effected reciprocally a major growth of tourist facilities and global publicity. With Dolphy at Colioure in South France, the guardian took special measures* to prevent people holding her dorsal fin for rides, because he is convinced her fin was suffering physical damage from such attention. With both Dolphy and Fanny near Marseille, the guardians were supervised by Professor Henri Augier, of the University at Marseille and in conjunction, in each case, with a local “friends of the dolphin” committee. In the case of Dolphy, who created an intensive situation reminiscent of the beach encounters of Opo, the local Mayor closely supervised and supported the guardian who was equipped with a cellphone and instant police backup. Interestingly the dolphin’s rest area was beneath a cerain boat alongside a jetty right under the noses of the questing public and beside her guardian. The dolphin learnt to breathe surreptitiously and undetected. Jojo in the Bahamas has long been closely managed by a guardian. A major problem there, for a time, was this male dolphin’s aggressive sexual behaviours towards female tourists at the local Club Mediterranean. Humans females unintentionally provoke dolphin sexuality by stroking. Human menstruality is also provocative for male dolphins In two cases there has been some controversy over the role of guardians who have been criticised by the public for becoming too possessive; over - solicitous and for demonstrating their own interaction with the dolphin to the public in the manner of a trainer at a dolphinarium. The problem of protecting a dolphin which is easily accessible to the public in a beach situation, where no boats are needed, is extremely demanding and open to contention. Perhaps dolphin guardians would benefit from the close support and supervision of a broadly based committee and some sound advice. Zero Three, in Australia was managed informally for five years in a unique manner: all involved with the dolphin kept the situation a secret, while formal academic observations were maintained weekly along with playful human / dolphin interaction, in the midst of a major Australian city. In the case of Fungie in Ireland, there is no formal management . A fleet small boats take the public to meet the dolphin, which has, in one year, generated over one million pounds in tourist income for the community. This situation is one of the longest on record. This mature male dolphin has become very selective about permitting physical contact, allowing it with only those with whom it has established trust. For the most part it will only approach tourists when they visit en masse provided they are holding a tow-line. If they release it and swim towards the dolphin, Fungie leaves. But he has close, intimate sessions at special times with a circle of long term human friends. Fungie is a rare case of a male solo dolphin that does not behave sexually towards humans, although he has been seen copulating with visiting dolphins. Sexual aggression can become a problem with solitary male dolphins and to a lesser extent, with females. Joca in Montenegro physically assaulted women swimmers who intervened when she was interacting with special male human friends. In one case a mask was smashed and nose broken This could become a problem as a female matures sexually and enters estrous.
An example: the “Maui” Situation in New Zealand (a female Tursiops ) ** for details. During the period in which Maui was interacting with the public, she made several major changes in her activity patterns and range of movement. [1] The Motonau period.
[2]The Kaikoura Peninsula period.
[3] The Goose Bay period, when she avoided Kaikoura Peninsula.
[4] The return to Kaikoura Peninsula and ranging further north
[5] The Marlborough Sounds period and pregnancy/birth.
Conclusions: Activity and home range are subject to change and in some cases this can be expected to continue to alter whereas Fungie and Jean-Louis (a female Tursiops ) were/ have been extremely static in their activity and home range over a long term.
Other solitary sociable dolphins have ranged widely: Donald set up a series of home bases at small harbours along the Welsh and Cornish coast over a seven year period. Fanny moved her home base several times in the port environs of Marseille; Dolphy ranged widely along the Mediterranean coast from Spain to France; Jojo in the Bahamas ranges widely and often mixes with dolphins in social groups, etc. Many factors could interplay to cause a dolphin to shift base: variations in food supply; fear of orca or shark predation; seasonal changes in access to human interaction etc.
Final Conclusion: it should not be assumed that any current situation is a sound basis for planning. Management Options
[1] Laissez faire approach: leave dolphin alone, in the hope that it will not become involved with humans and will return to own society. [unlikey- see above]
[2] Appoint a guardian to supervise the situation. Devise a set of guidelines and rules to ensure dolphin welfare which the guardian would implement.
[3] Set up a committee to supervise and regulate the situation, with appropriate notice boards, pamphlets and public education as to appropriate etiquette, perhaps incorporating guardianship.

Matters for Consideration
[1] Buoyed areas for interaction, as outlined earlier.
[2] “No go” area for the dolphin’s rest periods, if deemed necessary.
[3] Restriction on the number of swimmers that can approach -or total prohibition . This may provoke the dolphin to violent behaviour and greater wandering.
[4] Restriction on the number of boats that can approach h.
[5] Restriction of the types of boats that may take the public to visit .
[6] Dolphin etiquette: areas of itsbody that are “no touch” zones.
[7] Ban on offering the dolphin food gifts.

Discussion of the Above
[1] This may be practicable in situations that may arise, where home range is limited. In more plastic, wide-ranging situations, it may be irrelevant.
[2] Observation of the dolphin’s behaviour is needed, along with an understanding of how to recognise its resting behaviour: a pattern of regular breathing along with circling a buoy on the surface, a certain moored boat or a favorite reef or regular patterned submergences. To many people a resting dolphin would seem quite active and ‘normal’. Rest periods can be intermittent and occasioned by factors such as the tide rather than at a regular time each day. In the case of Jean-Louis, who was usually wary of body contact and managed to survive intensive public attention ( divers, swimmers, kayakists ) for ten years, she had an adjacent refuge area: a rocky reef where she could elude persistent swimmers in turbulent white water, returning later to the rocky cove where she interacted with people.
[3] If too many swimmers approach a solitary dolphin it may become frustrated by the “cocktail party” effect: relationships are interrupted just as they are developing: play routines; trust bonds; delicate reciprocal understandings. There have been many cases overseas where the dolphin has shown frustration and even aggressiveness in such circumstances. People should realise that it is just as delightful to be a spectator of wild dolphin / human relationships as to participate. In this case more creative and complex developments will be observed in a 1:1 situation. With a maximum of four people in the water, the dolphin will usually interact with only one person at a time, but not feel over-pressed.
[4] Similarly, a better situation will arise with only one boat present. The more boat traffic the more the dolphin becomes distracted, rushing from propeller to propeller to enjoy the tactile stimulation of prop. wash or the challenge of a bow ride at speed. It would be ideal to limit boat numbers, if and where practicable. However, it needs to be borne firmly in mind that managing a human / dolphin situation is an exercise in diplomacy: if rules and regulations are not compatible with the needs of other sea-users, resentments could be aroused that could endanger the dolphin. It is most important to consult all sea users and seek their advice, involving them in the decisionmaking.(No management at all would be better than a bullet riddled carcass...)
[5] For commercial purposes, jet-propelled boats would be ideal, providing safety for both dolphin and public while giving the dolphin the maximum in tactile stimulus.
[6] Dolphin etiquette and “no touch” zones: a survey of the pamphlets collected from other solo dolphin situations provides a consensus as to what has been developed elsewhere. It is generally agreed that the blow hole and eyes and genital zones should be avoided. It may be considered worthwhile to avoid fin tows, but then again, this may not be a problem in the off-beach encounter situation such as with Maui where the dolphin had adequate control. When freely swimming she could readily dislodge an unwelcome fin tow and avoid grasping hands. She seemed to enjoy the fin-tow game and it may have been no problem if not excessive. { In the latter stage of this episode Maui approached swimmers aggressively and repelled them.] Decisions such as this need careful consideration and review by an on-the-spot committee, along with advice from an experienced source. It is universally agreed that it is not wise to proffer food to a solo dolphin for several reasons: there are ecological implications, dangers of malevolent poisoning; inappropriate food items, dependance etc. Medical Assistance For those who may counsel a laissez - faire or “hands off” approach it should be realised that in many solo dolphin cases, it has been necessary for humans to render medical assistance: to remove fish hooks and entanglements; to administer antibiotics following injury; to rescue from stranding etc. In such situations it has been the trust and acceptance of human touch that has made it possible to render assistance. A solitary dolphin has only human agency to count on in a crisis. To deny this cannot be in its best interest.
- Detailed accounts in the books:
*Encounters with Whales & Dolphins, Wade Doak, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, l988.
**Friends in the Sea, Wade Doak, Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1995. Titles out of print but available on disc per www. wadedoak. com
- Further academic description: The Bottlenose Dolphin, edited by Stephen Leatherwood - Academic Press, N. Y. l990.-Chapter 18.
- Christina Lockyer: Review of Incidents Involving Wild, Sociable Dolphins, Worldwide.

Supplementary Management Suggestions for Boat Owners
[1] Several solo dolphins have been propeller addicts: for them it probably provides the tactile stimulation [jaccuzzi style] they lack as solitary but highly sociable mammals. While boat owners can do little to prevent them following closely behind their stern, they should be made aware that dolphins are not infallible and can injure themselves on propellers- in some cases fatally. Accordingly, boat owners should avoid any sudden changes in speed or direction while a dolphin is close to their propeller. They may also hovers close to the propellers of stationary boats and rub on the rudder.
[2] Owners of all vessels should be aware that a dolphin could be fatally affected by any release of fuel oil or diesel, oily bilge water etc. The dolphin’s blowhole operates at the very surface of the sea. Inhalation of oily substances can produce an irreversible and terminal deterioration of the lungs.
[3] Conflicts can arise between boat owners for the attention of a solo dolphin. In situations where it is involved with people in the water adjacent to an anchored boat any passing vessel can usually entice it to pursue which may be seen as effectively “stealing” it. Such conflicts at peak holiday periods could endanger the dolphin and in past solo dolphin situations have led to confused, erratic behaviour and ill-health arising from stress. Boat owners should be urged to act judiciously and with good manners: where people are engaged with a solo dolphin in the water, rather than entice it away, other boats could at least approach quietly and drop anchor so their occupants can observe the interaction from a reasonable distance and watch the in-water proceedings for half an hour before entering the water*. At which point, if the numbers around the dolphin exceed four, it would be good manners for the earlier group to withdraw from the water and observe, perhaps having another turn later if the games persist. In sensibly resolving potential human conflict with etiquette, boat owners can avoid causing stress to the solo dolphin which few people would intentionally wish to inflict on it. [* Especially relevant to the potential buoyed off encounter area proposal.]

FOUR SOLO DOLPHINS IN EUROPE IN STRIFE

From: Gauthier Chapelle <G.Chapelle@aironair.com Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2003 18:21:43 +0200 To: "'Wade Doak'" <wade@igrin.co.nz Subject: Dony et al...

Dear Wade,

it seems that with the beginning of the holidays, the pressure might be building up on our European solitary dolphins...

You've heard about Jean-Floch, beaten by some drunk fishermen. In good health though, but less enthusiastic about coming to the little harbour he used to cherish, he's only in it seems on the early morning and evening.

Dony [Georges, or Randy] is further South in Britanny, but had at least one day where he got very sexual, and kicked out of the water a number of people he found were not supposed to interfere. Fortunately without harming anybody...

So for these two, together with "Reseau-Cetaces", we are preparing a notice about how to handle such a presence to the local authorities, and I remember you did participate in such a warning for Maui in Kaikoura. Would you still have that text ?

To finish on the subject, Dusty in Ireland has broken two or three ribs of an overly assertive lady... Aie aie aie

Take care all of you

Gauthier

Dony /Randy /Georges is Going North !

Solo dolphin's Incredible Odyssey: Ireland, UK, France, Belgium, Holland...

Since at least yesterday afternoon (thus friday), Dony is in Holland (as stated in "Het Laatste Nieeuws" from this morning, a Belgian newspaper) ! After coming out of the Rhine-Scheldt junction (a canal) in the Grevelingen, he swam further North-East to enter a little harbour: Dinteloord. Yvon Godefroid, Ute Margreff and me came just in time to see him from a distance this afternoon (saturday), and then he vanished. This was in a cold and very unclear water, nearly fresh, and close to the freezing point (there were pieces of ice in it).

He's now probably back in the main Grevelingen, which means that at least two sea locks separate him from the open sea... He will probably be difficult to locate tomorrow (no newspapers), but as he obviously keeps his will of moving, have a look on the Dutch web sites (dolfijn in Dutch). Gauthier Chapelle

Solo Dolphin Odyssey Gauthier Chapelle Belgium

Re Randy George etc

"I finally made contact with Jeremy Kiszka, from the North of France, who confirmed to me that Dony/Randy/Georges the traveller, presumed deaf but not deaf, was in the harbour of Boulogne, 2 h and a half driving from Brussels... So I hesitated to go on Sunday, being on my own with the kids, but first decided to call Ute Margreff, this German lady following Dusty who first met Dony/Georges during several weeks when he first appeared in Ireland in July

  1. Thinking she was in Ireland, I finally got her in her German home... And we decided to get there together on the next day. It gave me the opportunity to watch how he greeted her after one year and a half and 2000 km of travelling. It was really fantastic to witness, a very powerful moment... He could not leave her for more than 5m and 3 seconds, and was really keeping her in the water, she came out exhausted...

Of course, I videoed and took pictures, I'll send you some if you want. The whole thing happened in one small basin of Boulogne harbour, which is closed by a sea lock. However, this sea lock is opened every day when boats come in and out, and a boat driver explained us that for the last week, Dony kept going in and out following the boats. Ute has made a thorough checking of his condition which looks optimal, beside two very small woundings. I'll try to write a small report ASAP... Cheers Gauthier

To give you also the follow up of the incredible Odyssey of Dony/Georges/Randy, which has already moved, and this time, he is in Belgium ! To my knowledge, this is a definite record breaker, with already 4 countries visited, and I bet 5 will be for next month... It is also the first ambassador in Belgium ! More exactly he is in de Delwaidedok, a basin of the Antwerpen harbour, one of Europe's biggest. I haven't been myself yet, as I only got this news yesterday evening, and it took me this morning to check it was Dony. I first got Eddy Delpierre, one chap we met in Boulogne last week, explainig that the fire brigade in Boulogne did take him back to the sea on Friday (I'm not sure if they just showed him the way or took him on a boat, I'll check it).

This morning I also talked to the journalist who is in charge at the "Gazet van Antwerpen", he confirmed me that the dolphin has a big scar on his dorsal fin. The "maritime police" has tried to show him the way to the river, but he quickly came back in the main basin, that was yesterday evening, so I guess he is still there... I bet for Holland for the next move ! Otherwise he looks in good health (according to someone from Antwerpen zoo which came to feed him and check his health).

I'll keep you informed, but this dolphin is really amazing ! [ Gauthier has also been meeting Dusty solo in Ireland.]

Red Sea Dolphin Reef Problems with former aquarium captives kept in semi confinement in sea.

Dear Wade,

I was at the Dolphin Reef, and have some news, good and bad . The good news is that no dolphins were transferred anywhere; there are 12 dolphins at the Dolphin Reef right now, just as there were before. Shy, the mother of the lost Nemesh, feels good now, too (and she was really bad since it's happened).

The bad news is that Dolphin Reef was forced to close their gates by the Environment Protection organization of Israel. For how long - they don't know. They also believe that the previous problems with the dolphins being harsh to the swimmers around was related to the death of Nemesh and his mother's bad state because of it. They hope that since Shy seems to have got over her loss, there will be an improvement soon, and the gates will be open again. My hopes are with it, too.

Alexander Sheremet.

STROPPY DOLPINS IN UK

Nigel Smallbones, who heads the Dolphin Awareness Project, based at Paignton, Devon, England is concerned that interactions between dolphins and boats/swimmers are becoming more frequent in many coastal areas and the Torbay area (of which Paignton forms part) is no exception, being crowded with tourists, particularly during the busy summer months.

Recent incidents have involved bottlenose dolphins grabbing boat fenders and barging their bodies against the sides of the boat, to persuade it to move (presumably so that they can then bowride), and there is also the case of a solitary, sociable male bottlenose dolphin who resided off south-west England between March-September this year. This dolphin actively solicited close encounters with swimmers and boats, which, on several occasions, resulted in actual physical injury to both dolphin and swimmers.

In instances such as these, where such interactions may be perceived as "negative", it is important to try to establish the intent of the dolphin(s) and/or the people involved, when trying to assess whether an offence took place under UK law relating to harassment/disturbance of marine mammals by members of the public. In other words, is it the dolphin who is soliciting the encounters, or is the dolphin being harassed by the public?

I think we are all aware of just how difficult it is to get the necessary proof of disturbance, but do any list members know of any scientific papers dealing with cetacean "harassment" of boats/swimmers, and/or have any helpful suggestions, personal experience, etc, which they would be willing to share? Any advice would be much appreciated. Please address your emails to Nigel Smallbones at coastalzone@countryside-trust.org.uk Many thanks Vanessa Williams WDCS Conservation Manager

Wade's Comment: I have collected accounts of human/cetacean encounters since 1977 and published many of them in the 4 books listed on this site. For the most part any harassment of humans by cetaceans has been in a context that is understandable, such as human encroachment on courtship of whales. I have a verbal account of a bottlenose dolphin smashing up a towed dinghy. Solitary, sociable dolphins, which often experience extreme pressure from humans, have made many negative approaches , sometimes resulting in minor injury, and once ,in death-but the circumstances were complex and involved provocation by an enebriated man who probably drowned[Brazil]. I have written about the ethics of cetacean encounter which are basically an extension of the Golden Rule to another species.

Are there any further comments?

AGGRESSIVE RED SEA DOLPHINS [FORMERLY CAPTIVES EX BLACK SEA AQUARIA- Wade]from Simon Nemtzov" <simon.nemtzov@nature-parks.org.il

Shalom to you all,
In the past few weeks, there were a few aggressive acts of dolphins against swimmers in Eilat that reached the press and the authorities. The phenomena of this aggressive spread out & during this time the issue of attacks became a public problem that no one can shut it up anymore .... Now the problem is out in front of every bodies eyes.

I think that now is the time to think together, to get involved in this "dolphin open sea policy" & make IMMRAC's official spokesman answer.

Yesterday, I already talked to DUDU ZAKAI - the Marine biologist of the IL Nature and Parks Authority in Eilat, & un formally offered him that IMMRAC will be ready to come to Eilat for a week ASAP & make a survey for dolphin's photo ID with IMMRAC boat & equipment, so that in a weeks time I hope that IMMRAC will be able to figure out who are those animals that live in "Eilat's home range". This can be a good starting point to identified some of the aspects in the problem.
Let me know what you all think about it ASAP.
All the best, Simon Nemtzov" <simon.nemtzov@nature-parks.org.il

Dear Colleague:
We have had a few incidents recently of aggressive bottlenose dolphins injuring people swimming in the waters of Eilat in Israel's areas of Gulf of Eilat (Red Sea). So far none of the injuries has been what I would call major (painful bruises, but no broken bones). It is not entirely clear if there is more than one aggressive individual involved. Also, it is not entirely clear if we are dealing with wild bottlenose dolphins, or some of the bottlenose dolphins that live in the "Dolphin Reef" swim-with-dolphins facility in Eilat that are currently allowed to exit freely to the sea from the enclosure.

We are concerned that continuation of these kind of human-dolphin interactions could lead to harm to the dolphins. Obviously there is also real risk that a person could be seriously injured, and that is what could create more problems eventually for the dolphins. As the person in charge of dealing with human-wildlife conflict in Israel I have been asked to seek solutions to the problem, and I am writing to you for ideas. I want to know if you have any concrete suggestions for useful ways to keep dolphins away from the beaches and/or swimmers. The obvious ones which we know about are things like: Keep the "Dolphin Reef" facility closed tight to make sure that their dolphins are not the ones involved in these attacks. Educate the public at the beaches not to feed or promote interactions with dolphins. Collect data to see if these are perhaps juvenile or solitary dolphins.

I am thinking more in terms of finding actual methods that might convince wild dolphins that the inshore area is not a suitable or comfortable place to hang around in, and that they should stay away. For example, I have a heard of a pinging device placed on fishnets by fishermen to keep dolphins away. Are these effective? Where can they be purchased? Can they be used in inshore areas where people and other wildlife occur? Are there any other kinds of effective devices available? Can you think of any other technique or method to reduce this conflict?

Any assistance or ideas will be appreciated.
Please feel free to forward this letter to anyone you think might be able to help.
Thank you. Simon.

Dr. Simon C. Nemtzov Wildlife Ecologist and Scientific Authority for CITES

Israel Nature and Parks Authority
3 Am Ve'Olamo Street Jerusalem 95463, Israel
Mobile phone and voicemail: +972-(0)57-762-227 Fax: +972-(0)2-500-5409 e-mail: simon.nemtzov@nature-parks.org.il

REPLY FROM ALEXANDER SHEREMET, RED SEA DIVER

It's a very disturbing news to me. Actually, a month-two or so ago, my mother told me that one of her friends was bumped several times by a
(as he said) "very big, about 3m length, dolphin", while he was swimming in the sea. The dolphin did it out of nothing, or so he says. If he is right about the length, and for what I know - no wild dolphins swim close to the shores here, it should be Cindy, the dominant male and a pod-leader of the Dolphin Reef pod. It *could* be something like a conflict, related to the aquatory Cindy might consider to be his own, that was "invaded" by swimmers. Dolphins (at least for what I saw while diving here), and especially pod-leaders, don't usually leave the place if being disturbed. They rather show their displeasure and make invaders to leave. I saw it once while diving at the Dolphin Reef, when a dolphin (one of old females there) has approached a staff diver, but when the diver tried to rub her, she made some harsh "blat" noises, and repeated them like 5-7 times until the diver understood and took the hand away, and moved away some. Then the dolphin slowly continued her path, not trying to evade the contact, not moving even 10cm away from her path. I believe that these problems with people on the beaches to be hit/bit by dolphins could have the same source - usual people don't know to understand dolphins, and usually don't know to respect their privacy. As a result, they don't understand when dolphins are angry, and as a result - the next biting case arises.

My mother just has said, that three dolphins from the Dolphin Reef were returned to the Black sea because of these attacks cases. I didn't confirm this info yet, hope to get some more info at the Dolphin Reef soon. It really disturbs me...

Another thing that I just thought of, while writing: it could be something related to the last loss we had at the Dolphin Reef. One of calves, 1y.-old Nemesh, has died on August 6th because of the liver failure (it seems, got it from his birth). His mother, Shy, is still restless, and it could be one of the reasons that made some dolphins more aggressive here. I suspect it, cause I don't recall such conflicts with swimmers to happen in the past. Although, it's not the very first loss we've got at the Dolphin Reef. Dolphins are being born, and they also die... Dolphin Reef news page still has the news about Nemesh up there (actual for the October 2nd, 2002 news): http://www.dolphinreef.co.il/scoop___/scoop___.shtml

Best regards, Alexander.
-- URL: http://www.DolphinWave.org Mail: on the web page (no spam) ICQ: 6615461

Cetaceans Galore In Spain Anna Levin [letter to the Doaks]

I'm just back from visiting my sister in the south of Spain and some lovely cetacean sightings. I was just writing up some notes...

At first the weather was too bad to get out to sea, but boats were going into the sheltered bay of Algerciras. We saw a couple of striped dolphins in the distance leaping high out the water and then big, big gangs of common dolphins at the mouth of the bay.

They had young calves and they looked so tiny and incongruous and kind of fragile in this bay full of tankers and enormous ferries and fringed with high rises and gas works and industrial paraphernalia.

I was alternating between kind of watching it all at a distance - observing the scene, comparing with practice in other places, noticing angle of approach and changes in behaviour, whether the boat slows to no wake speed... then just being a dolphin tourist too, delirious in a sea full of dorsal fins, me and El yelling our heads off when they leapt alongside us.

It was like when I¹m dreaming at home and can see them everywhere, but this time there really WERE dorsal fins in every wave. Big waves were coming off the wake of a passing ferry and if you looked right down into the waves, they were full of surfing dolphins.

Then the wind dropped and we could go out into the Strait of Gibraltar, the first trip I did was with a different company. We came across a small group of common dolphins as soon as we left the harbour, it was really obvious they didn't want to play, they were deep diving whenever we approached.

We headed out into the Strait. Way over towards Africa there were all these strange dark lumps moving through the water, they looked like giant dolphins in slow motion.

It was my first sighting of pilot whales and they look so funny, really slow and kind of ponderous, and I'd always understood that cetaceans can't stay still, just the way they're shaped means perpetual motion, but somehow these whales manage it, just blobbing about in the water, not moving on at all. Sometimes they don't even roll like minkes or dolphins, just cruise horizontally through the water with their fins at the surface like sharks. It seemed to be some kind of clan gathering because different groups were all converging just where we were...

Went out again the next day and that was the best trip of all. It was interesting going on the different boats and seeing their different styles, the Swiss are very Swiss ­ punctual, strict, everyone seated, scientific. The Spanish lot were very Spanish, warmer, more laid back. The woman who runs it was leaning over the side singing and crooning to the dolphins and babbling at them about how gorgeous they are.

But that day was hot and still and we saw striped dolphins, rolling along in parallel course close to us. It was the first time I'd seen striped dolphins close up, they move really gracefully, slower than common and smoother than bottlenose. Really fluid and lovely, and wee calves with them.

Then bottlenose dolphins, then pilot whales again. Right around the boat this time and really checking us out, surfacing around us and blowing in the faces of kids that were leaning over the side. The whales and bnds were all mixed up, it was funny to watch them because you'd see a big chunky pilot whale. bottlenose dolphins and then a dolphin fin the next time something surfaced. I always think bottlenose normally look so big and chunky after seeing sleek common dolphins, but this time the bnd¹s looked so small and agile and their fins all sharp and sleek among the big chunky lumps of pilot whales
( maybe that¹s why they hang around with them?!)

At one point I looked around and there were fins all around the boat. Africa just a blue haze on one side of us and Europe on the other, and the sea dotted with small Moroccan fishing boats, and enormous tankers and ferries, we were right in the middle in this wee boat in a sea of dorsal fins, pilot whales and birds all around us and the striped dolphins still leaping in the distance. 360 cetaceans. It is an amazing place, and this was 'out of season', in the summer there are orcas around for months, following the tuna into the Med, and fin and sperm whales... maybe next year..."

Came home {Scotland] to wild icey winds and stormy seas, and gannets have wisely left and the area feels strangely empty - they're so prominent when they're here, the Bass Rock shining white with the mass of them all and I spend so many evenings watching them glide and dive. I felt a bit sad that they'd gone! Much love to you both,

Anna x

Sperm Whale Supports Japanese Dolphin Watching Venture

Hi, I'm sure you will all love this tale.

Robin Mankey and I have just returned from Japan, we were part of a small group of activists who went to Futo to support Ishi-san, a former dolphin hunter, in his first historic dolphin watching tour.

On Wednesday, the Japanese media turned up in their dozens to cover the event. Two fishing vessels were turned into dolphin watching boats for the day.. us activists with a few media on one with Ishi-san driving and the other vessel packed with Japanese media.

Hours went by . Lots of birds, flying fish - nice scenery. We were all getting a little nervous knowing that the chances of seeing a dolphin at this time of the year were only 50/50. Besides, how were we to know whether the dolphins recognised the sounds of the engines of killer boats.

Ten minutes before we were due to go in, the radio phone crackled. Ishi-san got very excited yelling out - Whale.. Whale .. and pointing in the direction of the media vessel which was some distance away. We could see a black blob in the water. With tears pouring down his face, and all of us standing up shrieking with excitement, we raced across the water to see a very large SPERM WHALE circling the media vessel.

It was so close we all laughed.. just out of touching distance. And for the next 20 minutes that whale just slouched around, giving the media an absolute field day. I have never seen a whale behave that way.. not even in San Ignacio Laguna.

This whale knew the boat was loaded with journalists.. he/she knew how important this historic event was to whales and dolphins.

The next night the story went right across Japan on national television - it was run in all the major papers.

We witnessed a miracle. Human and whale miracle. Sue Arnold

Dolphins of Belize August 17, 2002 Berkeley, Ca. Dear Wade Doak,

I am writing to you after reading your 1981 book Dolphin Dolphin (which I was lucky enough to find in our city library). First of all, let me sincerely thank you for all the great work you and your family and friends have done to help our understanding of human/Cetacean interactions. I am a member of the Cousteau and Oceanic societies, have done a good deal of snorkeling (NOT with dolphins, I¹m sorry to say), and am very interested and concerned with our oceans and the ongoing degradation of that environment. In fact, next month I will swim with dolphins as part of a ten-year research project being carried out by the Oceanic Society in Belize. A big moment for me.

A month later Hi Wade. Well, the week went by awfully quickly! It was very hot (high 90's F), and the dolphins kept some distance. According to the records kept by the Oceanic Society during this ten year study, there are approximately 120 Bottlenose dolphins in the vicinity of Turneffe Atoll (about 30 kilometers east off the coast of Belize), but they do not interact very much with humans. There are no tourists there, no hotels (although there is a dreadful plan to build a resort hotel on the northern part of the island including a golf course!). We went out each morning and afternoon for six days in a small skiff and saw dolphins about four times. Generally in this area they travel in small groups (from one to three is common), but we did see a group of five and a group of ten as well. Only once did the one of them ride the bow of our boat, mostly they stayed near, but well out of 'reach'. I played my bamboo flute for them at one point, and several came close; one even stuck his/her head out of the water to see what was up. We swam with them twice--but they kept about ten meters away, circling, staying just out of reach and almost out of visual contact in the slightly murky water. We did hear them echolocating on us. That's about it. It was not really very satisfying, but a start (the first time I have ever been in the water with them), and whetted my appetite for further contact.
In case you're interested, the head of research at the Oceanic Society (based in San Francisco) is named Guy Oliver, and he can be found on the net at: Oliver@Oceanic-society.org. He's an energetic, strong minded Marine Biologist with a reasonably open mind and a positive attitude towards doing all that can be done to protect these wonderful creatures. He had heard of your books. I will stay in touch when other aspects of this wonderful study develop, and I do seriously hope to make it over your way in the not too distant future. I will likely be ordering some of your other books on disc soon. All the best, James Shallenberger

Hot news from Norway: orca epic Gauthier mon fin cher ami

Tonight I read the teletext with amazement and delight. You may well know this already. If only I could be first to tell you.. This will complete your reconnection.
" Keiko, star of 'Free Willy', has turned up in a narrow Norwegian fiord, where he plays with the locals.
"The 10 m. whale, released into the wild just six weeks ago, even allowed children to ride on his back as he put on a display for them.
"Keiko showed up in Norway after swimming 1400 km from Icelandic sea pen following his July release."
Merde alors Wade

From: Judith & Gauthier <reymchap@village.uunet.be Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 00:08:38 +0200 To: wade@igrin.co.nz Subject: solitary killer whale

My dearest Wade,
they showed briefly this evening on the Belgian TV news a footage of a solitary orca playing with swimmers in a fjord of Norwegia. I made a quick search on the Internet but could not find anything. Do you know about it ? The pictures were quite impressive, with the orca gently pushing an inflatable boat upside down, putting two teenagers in the water, who obviously had good fun !

Cheers
Gauthier

PS Sorry for these impulsive and irregular messages, but I have a lot of work for the moment. And at the same time I have "reconnected" strongly with cetaceans these days !

MORE ON ORCA KEIKO

From: Judith & Gauthier <reymchap@village.uunet.be

Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 12:10:52 +0200

It is Keiko ! Should I say of course ? (If you want to know more, have a look on www.wdcs.org and the unique press release I could grab). Well, it make things a bit trickyer. As the vet's are now asking people not to have contacts with him. Which I think is useless, as to me, the boss now is Keiko. The only thing I would agree with is not to feed him with dead fish. Although maybe that since he's feeding by himself, he would probably not let himself depend on this outside food any more So maybe Keiko is really on his way to become an ambassador between orcas and people ? But for that, we have to listen to him... At least he will finish his life in the place he belongs to. And if he can't really get back in his orca community (was he too young when he was caught to feel himself as an orca ? Remember the baby chimp making a nervous breakdown when confronted to the fact she was a chimp, not a human), at least I feel he has opened the way for others which were caught as adults...

Just some thoughts. Gautier

FROM ROBBINS BARSTOW -USA

Dear Wade -- Thanks for forwarding the story about Keiko playing with locals in a Norwegian fiord! I first learned of Keiko's return to the wild, totally free and independent now, a couple of weeks ago from the Jean-Michel Cousteau internet site "Ocean Futures," which has been issuing periodic KeikoWatch follow-ups on his Iceland sojourn. You are indeed the first to tell me, however, about this Norwegian encounter. If true, it adds a whole new dimension to the saga of Keiko, which is totally amazing and who knows what it will lead to. I hope Norwegian whalers don't kill him because of his threat now to their interests.

According to my OceanFutures KeikoWatch dated 22 August 2002, the Humane Society of the United States will distribute future Keiko updates. They can be visited at: http://ocean.causesthatmatter.com/L/hsus.org/ace/352.cfm? You will find quite interesting facts in this report, many of which parallel episodes in your books. Note that they were inspired themselves by some Doak writings. I especially liked the bit with the plastic bag around the rostrum; tell me your opinion on that one; it makes a good parallel with the humpback story.

cheers Gauthier
From: Dr Gauthier Chapelle Gauthier.Chapelle@naturalsciences.be

WADE'S REPLY

Many thanks, Gauthier. Dolphins have been recorded [this is off the top of my head but documented in my Project Interlock files] playing in this way with seaweed; sticks; an oar; a tee shirt; a beer bottle; a beach ball; a swim fin; self-generated toroid bubbles; a small sunfish! And yet scientists say they are not manipulative... They use beak, pectoral, dorsal and tail much like a playful soccer player. Solo bottlenose Donald was especially enthusiastic about towing yachts, some very large yachts, whose anchors he would uplift. He once created mayhem by entangling the anchors of a group of yachts whose owners were at the pub on Xmas day. These stories and many more are scattered throughout my four cetacean books listed on this web site.

I am very keen to hear of other episodes like this. I also have other episodes on file of whales playing with : giant kelp; a drifting tree! a yacht's rudder [orca]; Hookers sea lion cubs ; errant New Zealand fishermen... and so it goes.

MORE ON DOLPHIN PLAY -comment on Dusty story above:

Dear Wade,

Indeed the piece of play with the algae and the plastic bag are a good feature of several animals. But the story I really appreciate was when Dusty got its mouth stuck with the plastic bag, and immediately came to Gaetan to "ask" him to remove it. This to me was really impressive, and reminded the example of "Sickle" the humpback from last week.

PS You ask what LFA stands for: The LFAS list is for "Low frequency active sonar". It is a bit of a crazy list, with information and campaigns on that topic from the most informed and technical sources... to the most esoteric (which I know you don't always enjoy too much). Anyway, if you want to have a go, you can subscribe by looking at the following. I quite often find very interesting stuff, even if there is a lack of rigour in my opinion (but I love some of the esoteric parts...):

"Stop LFAS World WIDE!"

"Insist that people be told the truth about LFAS and other high intensity sonars. For additional updates go to this URL: http://listen.to/lfas "

Cheers

Gauthier

Dr Gauthier CHAPELLE
rue Vautier 29
1000 Bruxelles BELGIUM

Dear Gauthier

New Scientist 17 Aug has an article on a New Caledonian crow that has advanced tool use. We are having to revise our ideas on so many animals.
I have examples of tool use in sheep. Scottish sheep-not kiwis... But you are so right: it is the interaction with another species that is so special in cetaceans. I have an anecdote from Florida involving a dolphin coming to people to have a hook removed. And a similar one from the south of France which you may know about, with Eric Demay, the mentor of Dolphy.
My file on dolphins aiding humans continues to expand. I have examples of dolphins assisting whales too. And even, a shark! Interspecies altruism is a fascinating domain.
sincerely Wade

Dolphin Communications:

A personal experience Rescuing a Harbour Porpoise

By Carol Drummond biorealism@top.monad.net

I have enjoyed everyone's comments and speculation on dolphins, and for anyone interested, would like to add my personal experience 23 years ago with what I have been told was a harbor porpoise. I tell this story as a student of life. I am not a scientist.

My husband and I were fishing from our 25' gillnet fishing boat in Juneau, Alaska, and I was 4-5 months pregnant. While I was watching the net, I saw that a dolphin-like animal had been caught and was struggling under the water. I reeled in the net, and slid the struggling form alongside of the boat and slipped one arm underneath 'him' so his blow hole was above water.

I could only see from his dorsal fins upward, which was about 3', making him probably 6' in length. He was very black on the top, and it appeared he was white underneath. I remember thinking that his skin felt like a rubber tire. It never occurred to me that he did not understand that I was trying to help him, and at all times I had this strong feeling that he knew exactly what I was thinking before I said it.

I told him that I was pregnant and that he would have to lie very still because I could not put pressure on my stomach. He immediately calmed down and lay still. While I have never thought he understood my words, I have always felt he knew my thought, that he knew I was pregnant.

He had his right dorsal fin stuck in several squares of the net, and in the process of trying to twist himself free, he had wrapped himself like a mummy. I was too busy trying to get him free to take time to inspect him closely, but I remember that the outer two corners of his dorsal fin seemed to be square, not like the pictures of sloped, more triangular dorsal dolphin fins that I had seen. Because I was holding him with one hand, I only had my other hand free to work on him, and I told him that I would have to tear the net and it might cut him. Once again, while I do not think he understood my words, I believe he understood my thought. I pulled the filament against his fin, and I remember seeing blood as it cut the surface of his flesh. The cut was not serious, and while later I was struck that he did not move a muscle, at the time I simply knew he understood.

All the time I worked on him, his blow-hole was 6" from my face, and I remember listening to him breathe. It sounded just like a human taking a breath.

When the fin was free, I was exhausted. I told him that I did not have the energy to push him away from the boat, and at that moment he gently swam away. A few moments later I saw two dolphin-like forms swim very slowly near the boat and then slowly slip away. I'd like to think the other form was his mate and that they were both thanking me.

I was very young at the time. It never occurred to me that this might not be a usual occurrence. And then, about 6 years ago I took a course on marine mammals and told my instructor my story. He became very interested and gave a colleague my description of the dorsal fin. His colleague said that harbor porpoises are native to the Juneau waters and had similar rectangular dorsal fins. My instructor also explained that the lungs of a porpoise are very similar to the lungs of a human, and therefore, the breaths the porpoise took would sound so human to me. Finally, my instructor also told me that at that time there was underway a study between dolphins and pregnant humans. Several pregnant women were asked to swim in a pool with dolphins during their pregnancies. It was planned that when these women gave birth, they would take their infants back to the pool to swim again with the dolphins to find out whether the dolphins recognized the infants after having 'seen' them in the womb with their sonar. My instructor felt very certain that this harbor porpoise 'saw' that I was pregnant and that I had experienced a communication with him that had been experienced by others.

I have no proof, and I have no witnesses. To those of you who require dolphins to speak words in order to prove that they have language, you may, in part, be disappointed. While they may or may not speak words as humans know them, I know in my heart that they have another way of communicating without mechanical words. Perhaps dolphins speak on a different plane, a plane with which humans are not yet familiar. There are some things in life that simply are, things to which we must simply be sensitive.

Thanks for listening.

Carol Drummond . per Dr Gauthier CHAPELLE IRSNB rue Vautier 29
1000 Bruxelles BELGIUM

Humpback Intelligence -report from KENNENBUNKPORT, MAINE USA.

A whale watching boat, "The Nautilus" was about 12 miles ENE off Kennebunkport, Maine, when they encountered a humpback female nicknamed "Sickle" by research biologists. This was the first unusual clue, because they normally have to be 20 miles out before a sighting. According to Captain Jim Harkins, whom I interviewed by phone, he and his crew became concerned by her behaviour - she was simply "bobbing" in the water, not her usual cavorting. He slowly approached the whale and then shut the boat down completely. He says that she then passed across the bow of the boat and came along the port side and remained nearly motionless, sidewise, about 5 feet away - exposing her left pectoral. They were stunned to find the fin completely encased in 300 feet of 3/8 inch nylon fishing rope! They said it was obvious to him, the crew and their 50 enthralled passengers that "Sickle" was quite deliberately asking for help! She had her spring-born calf with her, hovering within feet, and both of them remained calm and motionless as the crew used a gaff pole to gently and gradually dislodge all the line from her fin, pulling it on board. He remarked that it could have been disastrous, had she opted to thrash or move off, because in their haste, they had it all entangled around their feet! They were finally able to get it all off, and cut it -to the applause and jubilation of the passengers! And, most magically, the clearly grateful "Sickle" and her calf decided to stay with her rescuers, hovering near the boat for one and a half hours, as her enchanted admirers communed with her!! Captain Harkins told me that there was a professional photographer aboard who captured the whole event, and that they hope to have some of the photos up on their web page soon. He couldn't remember the address, but he'll be calling me back with that info when they're up, and I will pass it on to all of you at that time!

Cheers, Anni

DOLPHIN NURSERY

Hi All! I am currently doing some preliminary investigations on a local bottlenose dolphin population in Forster NSW, Australia for my Ph. D. in this area (starting next year).
Some locals told me something I've never seen, heard or come across in
literature before. They say that female bottlenose dolphins leave their
calves (apparently newborns up to juveniles) in a rocky area with a lot of
surf and then go foraging. The calves then stay VERY close to these rocks
and wait till their mothers return. Locals call these rocks "the nursery".

As I've never seen or heard that ever before I went out on a cruise boat and they really showed me what I almost couldn't believe: 2 juveniles (my guess is about 6 months old) were VERY close to the rocks, almost being smashed onto the rocks. We stayed there for about 10 minutes and there were no adult dolphins in sight.
According to the owner of the local dolphin watch boat this is not a single
event but seen regularly. Has anyone ever observed anything like that? Has that been published somewhere? I'd be grateful for any comment on that matter. Thanks.

Daphne Buehler
c/o Fam. Ruetsche
Grundgasse 5
9500 Wil SG
Switzerland phyllopteryx@hotmail.com

BIMINI DOLPHIN ENCOUNTERS [BAHAMAS]

Those who have read my 'Encounters with Whales and Dolphins' book will know of the extraordinary Lily Banks dolphins, their history and behaviour. In recent times a second encounter situation has developed at Bimini, a more accessible spot. Our friend in Florida Ruth Samuels sent us this from exped operators Geoff and Christina:* [Wade]

"Dolphin encounters for the season started out good and have been getting longer and more intimate each week. There have been many 1 to 11/2 hour interactions in the last few weeks with as many as 20 to 30 dolphins-the average pod is around 6-8.

There was an encounter recently that wasn't a long one but was very special-the day was glassy calm and the dolphins were interacting with each other with a lot of high play kind of energy. When our guests entered the water it was as if time stopped-the everyone was floating still and the dolphins swam into the human pod and just floated in between everyone with a lot of eye to eye contact for about half an hour. Nothing moving-just floating on a beautiful calm day.

Every experience is so different and this one was very emotional for everyone.

We will be running this season until Sept 6 every Sat thru Fri. If anyone is interested there are still some spaces available-some with really good discounts-contact me for info. There is also a week in Oct with space. Our New Years trip and the trip the week before Christmas are filling well with spots still available."

*Geoffrey Hanan
Dolphinexpeditions.com
561-463-8400
866-463-8400 toll free

French Pass Dusky Dolphins Threatened

Marieke writes: Our host, Danny Boulton, is trying to establish a marine mammal sanctuary in Admiralty Bay as the dolphin populations appear to be under threat from the burgeoning marine farming industry. They have some Texan dolphin researchers there who have discovered that the dusky dolphins are part of the Kaikoura population, but that their feeding behaviours are significantly different between the two locations - in Admiralty they feed during the day instead of night, and because it's much shallower than at Kaikoura they work together to build bait balls and bring them to the surface.. One concern is that if the dolphins are driven out by the mussel farms (lost space and diminished nutrients) then the other species that rely on their activity will suffer as well Danny's also worried about all the recreational and commercial set netting that goes on there - you may remember the news over Christmas with seven dead dolphins washed up around French Pass - that was Danny's advocacy that got it to the papers.

Danny Boulton, when contacted by Wade , sent superb JPEG pix and wrote:

Yes I feel very much alone here and cannot see why we have an SPCA to protect animals and a marine mammal permit that has no teeth in protecting dolphin habitat. With the cumulative effect of set netting, trawling, and marine farm development I wonder how long we can sustain any wildlife. We have no marine reserves except for long Island at the other side of the sounds. We have five dolphin species, four that are frequent to the area for mating, birth, foraging and social activity. As very little research is being done the natural value of the area as wildlife habitat is very much under threat by all users. It pains me to see the erosion of these values.

Here we have five shag species but the main one feeding with dusky is the Spotted shag along with the Australasian gannet, white fronted terns, fluttering shearwater and also the NZ fur seal. Blue penguin and fish also take advantage of the dolphins feeding action. danny@SeaSafaris.co.nz

Dolphins saved me

"The sharks circled Mr Dickson as he bled in the water"
By Phil Mercer BBC correspondent in Sydney

An Australian fisherman, rescued after 40 hours clinging to an upturned dinghy, says he owes his life to dolphins that chased off a pack of circling sharks. Thirty-six-year-old Grant Dickson's prawn trawler sank in rough seas off the coast of northern Queensland. Two other crew members are feared drowned. A search involving 18 aircraft covering over 2,000 square nautical miles has so far found no sign of the missing men.

'Stalked'

Bleeding heavily and clinging to an upturned boat, Grant Dickson described how a group of sharks had stalked him after his fishing boat had sunk.
It was, he felt, only a matter of time before they attacked him. Talking on Australian television, the fisherman said one shark in particular was moving closer and closer, before the intervention of a pod of dolphin which moved in and scared the predators away. His ordeal lasted several more hours as he continued to drift in the Pacific ocean. Thoughts of his family, he said, gave him the determination to survive.

Rescue

He was eventually rescued by a passing cruise ship almost two days after his trawler sank. It went down in rough seas after its nets had snagged on seaweed near Dunk Island, south of Cairns. Mr Dickson, who is in hospital recovering from exposure, has described how he managed to reach an inflatable dinghy with another crew member, who then disappeared after deciding to try to swim back to land. The boat's skipper has also not been found, despite an extensive air and sea search. Rescue teams have continued to look for them but admit that as every hour passes, the chances of finding the missing fishermen alive are becoming more remote.

Orca Rescue: two stories at once

Wade Doak

On 14 July NZ TV news showed a mature female orca stranded in shallows off a sandy beach at Paparoa in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. A calf buzzed around. Three young men waded out and managed to refloat her with her tail lashing cooperation and then embraced each other for joy.. She rejoined pod. Nice one. Things have progressed in New Zealand and unfounded fear of orca has been reduced to this point. Project Interlock's media output takes just a little credit . .. I think of those scientific voices I have heard in the US who poo poo cetacean rescue.[But then , there is no scientific reason for not eating our dead elders, provided well cooked. Avoid the brain.. ]

Synchronously we read print and tv media story of a juvenile orca at Telegraph Cove in British Columbia, Canada that was solitary and in poor health. After nursing care it was restored to its pod. I still await news as to whether it successfully bonded...

SCAR: Fiordland's SOLO DOLPHIN

Ruth and Lance Shaw

Hi Wade, have Lance at home and this is what he recalls re Scar our solo dolphin. We do have some photos of it when we were swimming with it in Doubtful Sound. We don't know if it was female or male. It was very badly scarred from previous injuries. This would have been about seven Project Int years ago.

On one occasion one of our passengers was being abducted by Scar who was carrying him out to sea over his beak in the same way as females will carry their still born. [This is also courtship behaviour when males do it- Wade] Lance had to go out and take him off the dolphin.

Noise/vibration: Scar would place his beak within a few centimetres of a spinning prop and stay there. The local fisherman said that he did that with any boat, including outboard motors. Everyone commented that instead going straight to the bow to bow ride he went straight to the prop. The other thing he did was go into the cone of noise right under the engine and stop there, enjoying the either the noise or vibration. A fisherman didn't know he was behind the boat and reversed over him, injuring him so badly that he had to be shot.

When we put people in the water with him it was the swimmers who tired first and Scar would follow them to the side of the Breaksea Girl and try to encourage them back in. it was extremely sad as many of the fishermen fed him or her... Love from us both Ruth and Lance Shaw [Breaksea Girl charter vessel operators]

DEAFNESS IN SOLO DOLPHINS: A SEQUENCE OF LETTERS.
This correspondence began with a letter by Wade Doak to his friends seeking information on a solo dolphin in NZ¹s Doubtful Sound.
They replied :

From: Ruth and Lance <eco@xtra.co.nz
To: Wade Doak <wade@igrin.co.nz
Date: Thursday, 13 June 2002 5:43 PM

³Now the solo dolphin: we do have some photos of it when we were swimming with it in Doubtful Sound. We don't know if it was female or male. It was very badly scarred from previous injuries. This would have been about 7 years ago. After it happened I was in contact with a dolphin researcher in USA who has been studying deafness in marine mammals and she said that a lot of solo dolphins have been found to be deaf. Her name is Darlene Ketten. Hope this is of some help, smiles from Ruth and Lance

Ruth and Lance
Fiordland Ecology Holidays
www. fiordland. gen. nz

Wade then wrote to several other friends with solo dolphin experiences, about this deafness theory. First to Graham Timmins in Ireland:{ who has experience of several solos including the longest to interact with people: Fungie]

Dear Graham
This is apropos a dolphin that was very aggressive to a scientist down in our fabulous Fiordland a while back. How does the deafness theory strike you? This couple run a superb eco aware vessel called Breaksea Girl. cheers Wade

Graham¹s enthusiastic reply:

From: "Graham Timmins" <gramail@oceanfree.net
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 10:28:47 +0100
To: "Wade Doak" <wade@igrin.co.nz
Cc: "Keith" <keith@irishdolphins.com
Subject: deaf dolphins .

Wade, I think you have hit on something here. When we were swimming with Dony {Randy or Gearges} last year I suggested the same idea. My reasoning:
(1) I never once heard him vocalise, EVEN when we were surrounded by other dolphins who were squeaking and whistling constantly. In fact it seemed like they were shouting at him to try and get a response! (Fungie and Dusty, however, do vocalise. Fungie vocalises, in the sense that you can hear him 'zapping' you sometimes and if investigating some new object he will sometimes turn his head on one side like a dog getting a better fix on a sound source - well, at least he used to do that in the days when there was anything new for him!
(2) At times he would open his mouth wide and make what I can only describe as a squawk - a harsh, undolphin-like noise which reminded me of the grunts and strange noises which some deaf children make (before they are socialised out of the habit!)
(3) he is undersized for his apparent age and might therefore be thought never to have fed adequately since weaning - rather than being thin but full size which would indicate recent loss of foraging ability.
(4) we saw him following fishing boats when they were discarding fish. Later I saw him regurgitating bones, suggesting he may have been eating an unsuitable or less than ideal species of fish. And he seems to have followed fishing boats on all his travels.
(5) he did not react to strange underwater noises eg video cameras in the same way as Fungie and Dony - who were fascinated by these the first time they heard them.
(6) he doesn't interact at a distance like Fungie: he is always 'in your face' and likes to be in immediate physical contact. he doesn't sneak up behind you and surprise you like they do at times. Sometimes we saw him hanging around a buoy or moored boat at 30m-50m distance and he just didn't seem to be aware of our presence. Then he would suddenly see us and come straight over.

I will try to follow this up more now. Do you have any more on this from your Fiordland dolphin or any others you have studied? Do you have a contact e-mail for the researcher mentioned, Darlene Kitten?

all the best Graham


Wade contacted Bill Rossiter in Massuchussets re Darlene Ketten:
From: Rossitercsi@aol.com
To: <wade@igrin.co.nz
Date: Thursday, 20 June 2002 2:43 PM
Subject: Darlene Ketten

Hi Wade,
It is probably Darlene Ketten, a no-nonsense expert on cetacean hearing. I have known her for years through Navy noise issues. I like her for objective but involved position; she doesn't want animals hurt by human noise, but hates hype. Has lab to study effects of loud noises on dead cetaceans... from properly prepared head samples from strandings or entanglements with possible relationship to loud noise event (on alert to respond immediately at site), or subject dead heads to loud noises to see what happens to structure and nerves. Note that her two jobs are at extremely prestigious institutions.
Bill

Dr Darlene R. Ketten
(1) Harvard Medical School MEEI, Room 705C 243 Charles Street Boston, MA
02114 USA
(2) Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Woods
Hole, MA 02543 USA tel; fax: 617-573-4275
Ketten; D. R. Associate Scientist, Biology Dept., Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution Woods Hole, Mass. 02543;
tel; work: WHOI 5082892731 HMS 6175734083
<dketten@whoi.edu

From: Rossitercsi@aol.com
To: <wade@igrin.co.nz, <graham@irishdolphins.com, <gramail@oceanfree.net
Date: Thursday, 20 June 2002 3:39 PM
Subject: deaf solo dolphins & Dony/George?

Bill also contacted Graham Timmins:
Dear Graham,

Wade asked me for a contact for Darlene Ketten, which I hope that he sent on to you (but it's below as well). I went back and read the whole chain of emails to find that you're the man to talk to about Dony, George or whoever the randy dolphin thinks he is.

I've been unable to follow "the Dony / George show";I didn't know that Dony simply disappeared. Was this just before people were going to capture him? Was there any connection? Has Dony/George reappeared anywhere? Have there been any reports on the event to date that I could pull off the Internet or get by email? Do you have any opinion on what, if anything, should be done with Dony if he gets frisky again?

I've put comments and contact information for Darlene Ketten below. She's usually very busy, but should be be extremely interested in your experience with solo dolphins that didn't seem to have normal acoustical behavior, like Dony. Using dolphins and whales that died (fishing gear entanglement, boat impacts, etc) one of the things she's researching is the effect of loud noise on structures and neural systems. But she's found a few had been profoundly deaf in one or both ears before they died in accidents, perhaps for years, but they showed no signs that the handicap had impaired their survival. Some suggestion, I think, that one may have been aided by others over a long term, but that's from my faulty memory.

Graham, if you have any more to tell on the solo dolphins, the noise issue, and just about anything else, please include me in.

Thanks,
Bill

William W. Rossiter
President Cetacean Society International

  1. O. Box 953, Georgetown, CT 06829 USA
ph/fx 203-431-1606
rossiter@csiwhalesalive.org
www. csiwhalesalive. org

Wade also wrote to Dr Mike Bossley in Adelaide, Australia who studied a solo dolphin called Jock intensively:[ account in Doak¹s
book ŒFriends in the Sea Œ: details on this website].

From: bossley <bossley1@hotkey.net.au
To: Wade Doak <wade@igrin.co.nz
Date: Thursday, 20 June 2002 10:32 AM
Subject: deaf solo dolphins

Hi Wade
I doubt very much that Jock was deaf. He vocalised frequently AND used sonar, both of which I recorded many times on the sound track of video via hydrophone. He would also come from quite a distance when we fired up the motor on my boat. However, it is very likely that dolphins become solitary for different reasons and therefore deafness may be a factor in some situations.

Also, I had an email from a student called Yvonne Miles who you may be in contact with saying Randy / Georges has turned up in Weymouth. If this is true lets hope he is not "discovered" there.
Regards
Mike

Graham Timmins sent this reply to Bill Rossiter:
----- Original Message -----
From: Graham Timmins <mailto: gramail@oceanfree.net
To: Rossitercsi@aol.com
Cc: Keith <mailto: keith@irishdolphins.com
Sent: Thursday, June 20, 2002 10:16 AM
Subject: Re: deaf solo dolphins & Dony/George?

Hi Bill and many thanks for making contact! I'm afraid we have been a bit slack about telling people like yourself of our existence. I guess I have been waiting till the website was 'perfect' and 'finished' before putting the word out but I realise now that is unreal, and it seems it's already good enough to draw together information which no one else is spotting, so I hereby recommend you check out www.irishdolphins.com <http://www.irishdolphins.com for the full story of Dony and his travels, amongst other info on the Irish interactive dolphins! we will also put you on the mailing list so you get news updates as they happen.

We share your take on the Dony/Georges/Randy intervention. Once we knew they didn't intend any use of force we withdrew our opposition to the 'lure him away' plan as it was obviously a non-starter anyway. But in general we are opposed to any intervention in the free will of a wild dolphin, even when it appears to us that the animal is putting itself into danger. We believe it is a matter of respect and that intervening with cetaceans shows we look down on them as inferiors who do not know what they are doing and cannot make their own choices. By contrast we think they are at least as smart as we are and probably smarter. Other people also do a lot of dumb things but we don't ship them off to other countries as a result! Well, not unless we classify them as 'illegal immigrants' which I suppose Dony is coming to resemble!

Also the injuries Dony received were grossly exaggerated by some people; as far as we can see his feeding, movement and survival etc has not been in any way impaired by propeller gashes, ghastly though they admittedly look.

If Dony settles again in a busy harbour and starts being 'frisky' there are two hot issues as we see it: the dolphin's safety and the people's safety. The first could be covered by enforcing the existing legislation preventing harassment: motor boats should not be allowed to make close approaches etc. It is only motor boats which pose any threat to him, not canoes or surfers or swimmers. The second is also exaggerated wildly: no-one has been hurt by Dony although hundreds have swum with him. But warning notices could and should be posted explaining that he is wild and strong etc and that there is a potential danger and it is at your own risk if you go swimming etc. Having done these two things the authorities should then sit back and enjoy the privilege and spectacle of a wild dolphin choosing to visit their town and entertain their citizens and visitors!!

The idea of having a diver be towed on a line behind a boat through this busy shipping lane with a dolphin following was frankly nuts. But at the same time opposition within the coalition of English conservation groups was becoming more vocal and this may have been a factor in canning it.

Whatever, it was only two days after the attempt was abandoned that the dolphin also left Weymouth. For the story of his subsequent movements follow the links from the Dony home page atm http://irishdolphins.com/webpilot/list/details.asp? l=2&contentid=78
<http://irishdolphins.com/webpilot/list/details.asp? l=2&amp; contentid=78 .

I see what you mean about Darlene Kitten. I will try to have a look at papers she has published before trying to contact her. It shows
we respect her work etc.
Hope this answers your questions for now,
best regards
Graham [PS we heard yesterday that the dolphin is still in the Devon/Cornwall area]


Graham Timmins
Ballyferriter, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Tel: (+353) 66 915 6452
Mobile: (+353) 86 803 4783

Email: graham@irishdolphins.com
Web: www.irishdolphins.com <http://www.irishdolphins.com
Charting interactions between dolphins and people

Jo Berghan, Northland, NZ Solo Dolphin Researcher made this comment:
From: Jo Berghan <delphinus@xtra.co.nz
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 17:25:07 +1200
To: Wade Doak <wade@igrin.co.nz
Subject: Re: deaf dolphs

Hey Wade
Very, very interesting ! I believe that the solitary that I monitored in the
Kaipara Harbour last year was also deaf. He never echolocated, despite the zero visibility he was living in, and rarely whistled, despite me listening with a hydrophone for hours. He rammed into my boat one day when we were stationary and had also hit another boat. I had wondered if he was hearing impaired, so this is a very interesting debvelopment. I haven't heard anything about Randy for weeks now - have you ?
Cheers Jo

Ruth, on seeing the emails, having begun it all, responded:
From: Ruth and Lance <eco@xtra.co.nz
To: Wade Doak <wade@igrin.co.nz
Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2002 7:31 AM
Subject: RE: deaf dolph

Hi Wade, I am not at all surprised as about three years ago when lance and I were trying to stop Fiordland Travel put yet another boat into Doubtful Sound, huge that takes 70 overnight passengers I spent a lot of time researching the effects tourism would have on the pod of dolphins. I spoke to Darlene Ketten and about 20 other dolphins experts around the world plus collected all sorts of noise information from the USA Navy. A Dr Williams from England who has been studying a pod of dolphins for years offered to come out to Fiordland and help set up a research project centred around noise and the possible effects on the dolphins. Even though I tried to get support for him to come out no one was interested, this work is now being done by the researcher who is in Doubtful Sound but it is not his specialty.

When Lance and I presented our submission protesting against the huge FT boat and asking for controls to be placed on the growth of tourism in Doubtful Sound it all basically 'fell on deaf ears." The evidence now coming out is that the noise is effecting the dolphins and because a 'scientist' is telling them they are starting to listen... but no action of course. I have a huge file on all the work I did at the time with contact numbers email addresses etc. We bought a wonderful book from USA $155.00 nz all about noise and the effects on marine mammals. After I had read it and done all the research I think I was better informed than most of the marine biologists in NZ!

I was very lucky to have support from all over the world and I spoke to many wonderful researchers who have been involved in the field of underwater noise, we do not realise just how serious it is. My firm belief is that the pod of dolphins in Doubtful Sound will be displaced by tourism and the increase in recreational boating, we are already seeing evidence of this. The sad thing is that they have been resident in the fiord so it the only 'home' they know, so what will happen when they leave? Tourism comes first of course, and every boat targets the dolphins, make people smile and feel happy. it sickens me and even though I have written to DOC many times they do nothing.

Something will be done when it is too late. I am not saying the dolphins in
Doubtful are deaf, they aren't as we hear them vocalising, but what
detrimental effects has tourism and the continual noise of engines have on them?

It is interesting to note what Graham Timmins said about vocalisation, there is a pod in England that is lives in the main passage way of the fast
ferries and they do not vocalise, the researcher had not thought to find out if they were deaf until I emailed him. They now believe the entire pod is deaf.

We are still up in Nelson, I will be home in about 8 days so if you need any
further info let me now. Glad I have stirred up some interest. Love from
Ruth and Lance

Ruth and Lance
Fiordland Ecology Holidays
www. fiordland. gen. nz

Bill Rossiter from USA re NZ SOLO dolphin Scar

Scar seems to have been suffering from a profound hearing loss, so the prop wash must have been a pleasure to feel. Tragic that he never understood the prop danger and was so injured that he had to be shot. But why would people expect that any solo would understand such dangers? I've seen the same stuff... and it's scary. I also have seen many cetaceans avoid boats, too far away for the boat occupants to even know they were there. So they learned something bad, sometime.

Some of the tuna/dolphin studies suggest that as oceanic dolphins learn to
avoid nets, and fishing boats, they develop stress symptoms from fear... they can hear the boats a long way off and must be really scared as they are approached. The idiots doing the study proclaimed that the dolphins were OK because once capture seems inevitable they just hang there, waiting. What is probably happening instead is, like capture myopathy, the dolphins have been so stressed out that they approach a catonic state. I don't recall if there is evidence that they equate the noise of a small helicopter or ultralight finding/tracking them with the appraoch of the boat. If that is documented then we have a disastrous fear response until the machine leaves because it's low on fuel, probably after stressing the dolphins that try to dive or flee.

.

This correspondence may develop....

Dolphins in Israel

Dear Wade! Finally I've found your address! It's an old Russian, and now Israelic friend of yours, Alexander. I was moving a lot since I went to live in Israel (new place, new country, had to find the right place to stay), and after these moves I couldn't find some of my papers with addresses. And just now, accidentally, following some web page about dolphins, I've found yours one and I'm happy to be able to write to you again!

Me and the rest of my family, who also came to Israel, now live in Eilat, at the southernmost part of Israel, and the northernmost part of the Red sea. It's probably the best town in Israel and we are going to stay here. There is even a place with dolphins just about 6km from my home! The place is called "Dolphin Reef", and is a part of a sea shore, encircled with nets, where 4 dolphins were brought from one of Russian captivity places and placed there. Several years ago the two gates were opened in the nets and dolphins (there are 13 dolphins here now, all born here since 1990, the Reef's creation) are free to swim out to the open sea and be back whenever they want! Dolphins here also know how to hunt for their own food, and they do it, partially cause they get only about a half of their ration from the staff. The older dolphins more time prefer to stay at "home", while younger ones spend a lot of time outside, playing, hunting or stealing some fish from the fish-farm which is situated about 5km from the Reef (people there don't mind it). Sometimes they even skip the feeding time, staying in the open sea. Until several months ago there were simple "shows", or rather, interactions, when the staff was asking dolphins to do things like jumping, fast swimming, and other things natural for dolphins (no hoops, balls, or any other circus show attributes), but now they don't do even this, leaving dolphins just to be themselves. I really do like this place. People there really do care after dolphins and leave dolphins to be the "owners" of it, not disturbing them, trying to do as much for their comfort and freedoms, as they can. I also got my diving license at the Dolphin Reef, learning to dive with dolphins swimming around, and now I go to dive there whenever I have some free time. It's so wonderful to see dolphins being real dolphins, being a guest and being welcomed by them!

These weeks I go through the mandatory military service, the "new soldier" course, which will last till March 26th, and then I will know if they take me to the actual service for one year, or I will be moved straight to the reserve group, which means a month of the service every year. I hope for the later, I don't really like to spend so much time in the army, away from my home and the sea.
Hope to talk to you again soon! Best wishes, Alexander Sheremet.

Dear Alexander What a thrill to hear from you and to know you have achieved your dream! I still treasure your letters. Thank you so much for your description of the Dolphin Reef situation . I have heard of it and appreciate your comments. I always reject captivity but it looks like the Eilat dolphins are teaching the humans about freedom and mutual acceptance. I gather that some of them have come there from the wild to join the former captives? In Australia they feed dolphins for tourists at a place in Queensland. In many countries it is illegal to interfere with their natural behaviour.
I wish you well during your army days.
Have you heard of Israeli dolphin scientist Oz Guzman with whom I have exchanged email? Shalom! Wade Doak

-- URL: http://www.DolphinWave.org Mail: dolphin@dolphinwave.org ICQ: 6615461

Solitary False Killerwhale in Canada.

My question to Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce organisation Vancouver: [ lifeforcefoundation@3web.net ] Are you still encountering the Pseudorca described in your newsletter year 2000? Did interaction evolve to greater complexity? Wade

Hi: No major changes in the FKW situation. Working on methods to determine behaviours. Two cases of lone young (two year old) orcas. One from Southern Community in North and one from Northern Community in South (BC and Washington state). Fighting aquariums who want to capture them. Peter

My reply: The only lone orca I have heard of were juveniles. One befriended an oil rig in the Nth Sea ,interacting with the crew and divers, until it withdrew. But anything is better than captivity... Wade

Hector's Dolphins
Yesterday I was able to go for a short swim in Porpoise Bay [Southland] with some Hector's dolphins! They're pretty quiet, but the locals say if you don't bother them they'll often come over to investigate. We just swam out in to the bay, off to one side, and a couple came over - very cool! One was even doing flips in the air off in the distance. Neat camp spot at Curio bay too - lots of penguins and a sea lion or two! Next time I'll wear a wetsuit though, the water is a bit chilly down here. Cheers! Wade Borz from Canada.

April 2002

FROM ALEXANDER -Red Sea . [ Russian boy immigrant to Israel from Kiev]
Dear Wade,
My military service is going to be even better than I've hoped. I'm serving
as a cook on a sea base in Eilat. One week I work there, one week - off, at home, and even every night I go to sleep at home. It's just like another job for me: no weapon, almost no military uniform, and as safe, as it could be in Israel. There are even two dolphins pictures on the main gate, and a dolphin sculpture right in front of the kitchen's entrance. It seems, it was my fate to get to this place.

This Saturday I was diving at the Dolphin Reef. There are several one-year's old calves - the most playful age, it seems. One of them got a piece of seaweed and brought it to almost every diver to play with. He didn't even want to be rubbed, just to play. I couldn't resist and bought a video tape of an introductory dive they were filming that time. There was some footage of that calf.

My Reply
Dear Alexander
With the news each night Jan and I worry about you but now we feel very relieved. A cook! A musician too, if I recall accurately. What a range of accomplishments you have now. It is amazing how universal that seaweed game is with dolphins and whales of several species and all over the world. Sperm whales have be seen playing it with a drifting tree. And young right whales down here at the Auckland Islands play it with giant kelp and sea lion pups. a beluga played it with a boat fender in Massachussetts. Opo [NZ] played it with a child's ball or a beer bottle! In the Bahamas the spotteds have played it with somebody's Tee shirt. But one took it away and did not bring it back. Dusky dolphins off Kaikoura [NZ] have been filmed playing a version where they release the weed and another scoops it up but each time adroitly on a different appendage: fluke tip; dorsal; pectoral fin etc. The cameraman was included. It reminds me of soccer players fooling around playfully with the ball toe, head heel etc- a cooperative game involving skill like beach ball- not a competition for possession as we might assume. cheers Wade

Dear Wade,
My military service is going to be even better than I've hoped. I'm serving
as a cook on a sea base in Eilat. One week I work there, one week - off, at home, and even every night I go to sleep at home. It's just like another job for me: no weapon, almost no military uniform, and as safe, as it could be in Israel. There are even two dolphins pictures on the main gate, and a dolphin sculpture right in front of the kitchen's entrance. It seems, it was my fate to get to this place.

This Saturday I was diving at the Dolphin Reef. There are several one-year's old calves - the most playful age, it seems. One of them got a piece of seaweed and brought it to almost every diver to play with. He didn't even want to be rubbed, just to play. I couldn't resist and bought a video tape of an introductionary dive they were filming that time. There was some footage of that calf.

From Bill Rossiter USA [ President Cetacean Society International, Connecticutt.]

Hi Wade,
What a wonderful circle of friends you have, sending you their stories of games played with dolphins. I've watched (and have photos of) a humpback playing with a trunk of a cedar, with well rounded knobs. The whale would roll and push the log across the top of his head, and seemed to be enjoying the feel of it... I thought of those massage rollers people use.
The seaweed games I've had or watched underwater with spotted and white sided dolphins seem to fit a pattern. I call the game "possession", somewhere on a scale between one of our dogs prancing around with some stuffed toy, even parading in front of the other with rolled eyes and mock growls, and women wearing all the jewelry they can, well aware of other women checking them out!
With dolphins the game seems more like sharing, because dolphins probably have no concept of ownership, but the "look at me" aspect is very real. I think that if the seaweed is dropped for me the rule is for me to keep it awhile and let it go for another.
"Fraggle Rock", a popular children's show in the US, had a special rock that was given by the last holder in a special ceremony for another creature's birthday. Each time the receiver made a fuss as if it was the most unique and wonderful gift. The lesson was in the giving and sharing, not the thing itself.

From Toni Frohoff ,Texas
Thank you Wade, How inspirational ... that in the midst of so much war and violence that something so beautiful could occur. We need more of this! It's so interesting to be discussing this peace/war subject with you right now. Only an hour ago I was typing in the following for inclusion in our new [Sierra Club] book .. Best, Toni Frohoff ,Texas

"The Cetacea hold an important lesson for us. The lesson is not about whales and dolphins, but about ourselves. There is at least moderately convincing evidence that there is another class of intelligent beings on Earth beside ourselves. They have behaved benignly and in many cases affectionately toward us. We have systematically slaughtered them. Little reverence for life is evident in the whaling industry - underscoring a deep human failing. In warfare, man against man, it is common for each side to dehumanize the other so that there will be none of the natural misgivings that a human being has slaughtered another .
- Carl Sagan, The Cosmic Connection, New York: Doubleday, 1973:

From Ruth
Wade, thanks so very much for sharing the dolphin games stories.. One of my encounters that I 'logged' included a seaweed game. It appeared to me like "I've got it!" ... and it was very much like I have seen a few dogs play with a stick when they'd prance with it and the other dog would attempt to take it, then finally the one that had it first would let it go.. and off the new possessor would run... I did see two spotted dolphins interacting that way and then one dropped it in front of me . I picked it up and swam a bit but then I did a U turn and the dolphin came back towards me, so I put my arm out , let the seaweed go and the dolphin picked it up.
Also, I saw that spotted dolphin show -off game with the sea weed being carried on various parts of her body... there was a group of us in the water at the time, and the dolphin would swim through the group, go out of sight and then come back through the group with the seaweed across another part of its body. It was quite remarkable as to how it managed to keep the weed from sliding off!! Ruth Samuels Florida
I can send the original log via regular mail if you'd like!

My reply Hi Ruth Yes I would love to see that regular log .This topic is gathering steam. I have just recalled how Aussie solo dolphin Jock playing with an oar balanced across his back , carrying it around when tossed to him in an Adelaide mangrove creek.. [it is in my book Friends in the Sea]

DO PHEROMONES PLAY A ROLE ON Tursiops truncatus SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR?

From Jon O. Gascon; newethologist@yahoo.com
I am a Veterinary Medicine student in the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) in Barcelona, Spain, and I am currently doing some research on the behaviour of a group of captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Zoo of Barcelona. I have found plenty of information about this species in several libraries inside and outside the University, and I have even consulted the bibliographic record of the Zoo. In spite of having obtained interesting data on dolphins' sexual behaviour, no article talks about the activity of pheromones at this time of the Tursiops life.

It may seem stupid asking such a question, knowing they live in the water, but we must not forget they evolved from terrestrial mammals whose sexual life depended greatly on the activity of pheromones, as we can see it today in our closest animals like dogs and horses. Therefore, any information saying whether they make use of pheromones or not, and if so, in which way, will be welcome. Please, let me know if you have something. Thank you very much. Yours sincerely, Jon O. Gaston; newethologist@yahoo.com

My reply I know that on several occasions male dolphins have become aroused , even quite rough and possessive , towards menstruating women. Whether this is pheromonal or just tiny traces of blood is an open question. Wade

From Paul Reifsneider USA.
Dear Wade In the category of the 'games' discussion on the Project Interlock Emails page : On three occasions ( in Hawaii with Spinner Dolphins, in the Bahamas with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and in the Bay of Plenty, NZ with Common Dolphins), I have had a dolphin do a good mimic of me doing a poor imitation of them. I usually try to do a dolphin kick (though we can't all have the nice 'dolphin suit' that Jan uses) even before any interaction just to show them that I'm ready to play. On these meetings, a dolphin has swum parallel to me, within five feet, slightly ahead and done an exaggerated version of a normal dolphin swim - head going high then low, sort of like a bucking horse. The optimist in me says that the message is "Great - keep it up, we know you're trying hard... cool man...", of course the other possibility is that they are holding up a mirror and saying "This is what you look like." Maybe it's a little of both.

My reply Dear Paul thanks for your contribution to this discussion. It is amazing that the exaggerated response to dolphin swimming mimicry by divers has been demonstrated by the three species you describe as well as several times in my books : anecdotes from my wife Jan and other divers. Wish we had it on video. As with the seaweed games and several other behaviors, consistency across species and in widely different localities is noted. I look forward to hearing how your Big Isle experience goes. For me the Kealakekua spinners were mind-boggling. Wade

Re Dolphin Games: from Dr Mike Bossley, Adelaide, Australia.
Hi Wade Many thanks for allowing me to look in on the web conversation. I am flat out at the moment but one thought I had is that dolphins seem to play (at least sometimes) in a way which I have not seen a dog or other animal do and that is they seem to set challenges for themselves, ie : trying to do something ever more difficult in the form of balancing an object or tossing it from one part of their body to another, etc. All the best Mike

My reply Dear Mike It may be a brief comment, but a very valuable insight , drawn from a lot of direct , field experience. I am so pleased to know you will be keeping watch on future discussion. Always grateful for your input. Wade

Here are the latest letters on the solo dolphin in UK/France.

Monica Wilke is in Banyuls, South France and did her Ph D on solo dolphins. She has visited us in NZ.

Dear Mike, Dear Wade,
Yesterday night, the English responsible woman, Jennifer Alexander phoned me again to ask advice. I told her that I am trying at the moment to get a local protection law that I got through for our coast last summer (to protect a familiar common dolphin mum with calf) generalized as a national law for all the French coast. I think that I could be sucessful as I have the support of the responsible of the CRRM in La Rochelle which is the official French institute for all cetacean work. If I succeed in doing this, Georges/Randy would be quite easier to protect in the French area with the help of all the authorities we have here (police, office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage, prefectures and if necessary even the army...). I had proposed already several times to accompany Georges/Randy back to the well surveyed French area where he still was some weeks ago by proposing him to follow a boat. I think it would be worth trying as the English do not have any control of the situation.
Jennifer however answered to me that the English authorities do not accept this solution as it is quite clear the the dolphin can come back as soon as he finds another boat to follow. She made very clear that they want to put the poor chap in captivity - as proposed by Rick - in an closed sea pan. I am quite disappointed that they do not imagine any other solution. I agree with you, Mike that it should be possible to protect the animal using a patrolling boat and the police or other official people to get the orders to be respected. I was also thinking that there might be first an seriously injured person before the dolphin is getting harmed. However, Randy is so much excited with boats that he has now many many cuts of the propellers, not only one or two as I saw it often with other solitary and sociable dolphins. And he continues his pure sexual interaction, in particular with women...
Any suggestions to this strange and uncomfortable situation?

Love Monica

Veterinary Report on Bottlenose dolphin, 'Randy/Georges', Saturday, 25th May 2002.

I again examined Georges from the boat and in the water. Due to strong winds rippling the surface of the water, my ability to visualise the animal's skin below the water surface was not as good as on previous occasions.

The wound behind his rostrum, on the right hand side of the melon, reported by Ric O'Barry and Jenny Alexander on Tuesday, 21st May, was examined. It is approx. 3" long, very narrow and straight and would appear to have been made by a sharp object. Because it was so narrow, the wound's depth was difficult to judge, but it was observed gaping on one occasion, by one of my BDMLR colleagues. It appears to be deeper than other wounds observed previously, with the exception of the wound on the leading edge of his dorsal fin. A superficial wound, perhaps 6" long was also observed just behind his blowhole. There was no evidence of infection associated with these wounds.

Also observed was an area of apparently necrotic skin, roughly triangular in shape, green- brown in colour and situated just below the wound on the leading edge of his dorsal fin on the right hand side. This is the first sign of significant infection I have observed and is a cause for concern. Possibly the epidermal sloughing observed at the time of my last visit was, in retrospect, the first sign of this infective process.

The wound on the tip of his rostrum is filled with healthy granulation tissue and remains clean and free from secondary infection. The more significant wounds seen at previous examinations again were examined. The deep dorsal fin wound itself remains clean and healed, and no pain response was elicited on palpating the area. The wounds at the base of the dorsal fin and trailing edge of the dorsal fin on the left-hand side continue to contract down and remain free from significant secondary infection.

James Barnett
Director and vet, British Divers Marine Life Rescue

JO BERGHAN IS A NEW ZEALANDER living at Paihia, Bay of Islands

Hi Wade What a difficult situation ! I¹m not sure what to suggest with this dolphin ­ it would seem there are several issues: his poor condition, his aggressive behaviour with swimmers, and his movement between several locations. With regard to his condition, maybe he is not foraging adequately because of the human pressure from swimmers and boats, but it could just be that he is old and at the end of his time, or suffering from some disease or illness. Medical intervention should perhaps only be considered if the human disturbance issue is addressed and no improvement is seen in his body condition. In my experience with wild bottlenose dolphins in NE NZ, they forage opportunistically and on a wide range of prey. Thus, allocating time zones for him to rest and forage may be pointless. It would seem that the only solution for both his safety and the public¹s safety is to keep everyone out of the water. That way, injury to either party is minimized, he will get bored without anyone to play with and go and forage (hopefully), and habituation to human contact is minimized. I don¹t believe that relocating the animal would be the most prudent step at this point. Not only does the animal stand to be placed under considerable stress both during the move, and afterwards when finding himself in an alien environment, but he may no longer be able to rejoin his own genetic population/social group. Recently a wild bottlenose became solitary in the Hauraki Gulf and was interacting with vessels regularly over a period of several months. Through photo-identification we have clearly established that it rejoined a group of bottlenose dolphins. Whether this is temporary or not, it clearly shows that solitaries may not remain so forever. Without social stimulation from humans, Randy/Georges may integrate back into his own conspecific community. I think he should at least be given the chance to do so. Thus I feel that at this point a robust education/control programme should be initiated and trialed. It sounds like a great bunch of people with a wide range of skills and experience are involved and I¹m sure they can put together a well-run protection programme for the dolphin. In my experience, nobody wants to hurt a dolphin ­ most problems are just sheer ignorance. Over the last nine years in the Bay of Islands, we have moved from vessels doing high-speed Œdonuts¹ around dolphins and people leaping off boats on top of them, to slow, controlled approaches and careful boat manouvering ­ all due to education and information. Once people know that they are potentially harming the animals, they become very responsive to learning how they can interact in a safe manner. I¹m sure the same can be achieved for Randy/Georges. Unfortunately, dealing with people is not always easy and many respond Œif the dolphin/s didn¹t like it (human/boat contact) they would leave¹. I learnt the hard way on the water during my time with DOC doing dolphin patrols that authorative don't do this/don't do that approaches usually result in hostile, even aggressive, responses. It¹s sounds like they are having the same sort of response to the volunteers and I wonder if a new approach may be required ­ I quickly learnt to change my approach more towards. If you approach the dolphins like this, you will get a better response from them¹ and spent a lot of time telling people about the
dolphins¹ lives, behaviour, the vital daily functions they needed to carry out, and social bonds THEN told them about how bad boat behaviour interfered with that. Not once did I get a negative response to this type of approach, but believe me, prior to that tack I was told where to go on many occasions. This may sound like an odd suggestion, but perhaps they need somebody in the coalition who can offer advice on HUMAN behaviour ­ how to approach people, how to deal with stroppy tourists etc. Anyway, I hope the dolphin will just wander off and rejoin his own kind ­ failing that, as un-PC as this may sound, I hope he bites or slaps a dolphin harasser and then I¹m sure people will realize that the coalition really are advocating leaving the dolphin alone for a good reason:-).
Cheers Jo Berghan

MIKE BOSSLEY is an Australian scientist in Adelaide

Hi Wade Thanks for forwarding Monica's email. Since Jock [solo dolphin] days I have actually been involved in catching three wild dolphins, all for the purpose of getting marine litter off them. Each one has been successful and without apparent excessive trauma as the animals stayed in the area and did not avoid my boat after their release.

If someone like Ric is advocating capturing it the situation must be pretty bad. Having said that, I would still prefer the option of controlling the people rather than catching the dolphin. I would be very surprised if there are not laws which can be enforced to provide the dolphin with the necessary protection. I have good contacts with the two main cetacean groups in the UK (WDCS and Greenpeace) and could ask for their intervention in the case, though just at the moment their attention is probably mostly focussed on the IWC which is about to start.Best regards Mike

Hi Wade & Monica
Thanks for forwarding all the mails. It certainly sounds like a chaotic situation. I am really surprised that the UK government cannot take control of this situation.
I do not know enough about the physical location or the movements of the dolphin but it would seem that it should be possible to have a boat basically patrolling the area where the dolphin is and for that to warn people off via large sign or megaphone or distributing leaflets. However, in order to be effective that boat would need some sort of official status, even if it is only the approval of its activities by the government. Has the RSPCA been involved because they have official status?
It may also be well worthwhile to publicise to the locals the fact that this dolphin is very horny and is trying to hump swimmers. Surely that will keep the British out of the water!
By the sound of it my guess is that there is going to be a seriously injured person before there is major damage to the dolphin. Re the sex drive it is certainly the case here in Adelaide that sexual activity is at a peak in early summer and that would coincide with what is happening there. However, this sexual activity goes on pretty much all summer so it probably wont go away soon. Hope this is of some help. Mike {Bossley]

This story will be continued...

Dolphin Games
extracts from Encounters with Whales and Dolphins Wade Doak [avail. from this site]
Ruth Samuels writes:Page 182 'I pick up and swim with a large strand of seaweed. Two dolphins follow. As they near me I release the strand. One catches it in his mouth, spins and slings it to and fro. Finally he lets it go and catches it on his tail. He circles and swims beneath me, still holding the weed. As I dive after him he releases it for me to catch. He returns to me. Now what to do? I swim ahead and let the seaweed go. He catches and drops it. I pick it up - but he has gone over to the other divers. We were really playing together. Now three are back. I dive and twirl. They twirl and dive. The trio swim beneath me. Two are mating, intimately locked together for five seconds. The third is male and his penis is extended.'

Page 183
"Just the five of us, me and four dolphins cruising up current. They are giving me just enough room so that I can swim. I possibly have three or four inches clearance as I reach out my hands to swim, as well as at the sides of my body. Their eyes, or at least one eye, were on me all the' time. At first I thought they were just sensing my presence, and managing to avoid a collision; then I looked into the eye of a dolphin directly ahead of me. They could see me very well, and were just barely giving me space to swim! I had been concerned that I would inadvertently hit one with an arm because I was swimming with both arms and legs rapidly moving, but they gave no sign of fear or concern with all my splashing as I swam. They don't even look like they are moving their tails or fins. They are just coasting. I am swimming as hard as I possibly can. One dives away. I am euphoric, and want to buzz the boat. We all turn in unison and blast back to the boat on a wave. I drop behind as I can't quite keep up. We pick up four more dolphins. I am now one of eight! They are older and more spotted. There are people and dolphins everywhere! It is quite confusing again. I can hardly breathe from the exertion, and my muscles are screaming for rest. I am totally exhausted. I decide that I have done it, and that I need to get out of the water. Everyone else is cavorting with the dolphins. On deck I watch the action and play, and my eyes fill with tears."

From Israel: travelling dolphin
Dear Wade,

This Saturday I was at the Dolphin Reef and asked about that dolphin, who went for his "travel" a hundred km from home. The dolphin's name is Lemon, and recently he has returned home after being away for a week or so! He is 5 years old. Interesting that his mother (Shy) is very protective/restrictive toward her calves (she is being called "a polish mother" because of it, as a joke). And while Lemon is not exactly a calf anymore, I'm still surprised how he managed to "talk" his mom to agree for this travel (unless he just went on his own).

Alexander.

RANDY GEORGES [solo dolphin] PULLS OUT
Dear Wade and Jan,
I think it will you make smiling: Georges disappeared the day they tried to relocate him to France three days ago. He has not yet been founded again....Love and more news soon, Monica