Xavier has been in touch with the Ranger crew; they are nearby and should arrive in Golfito tonight.
I once, as a kid, watched a pod of pilot whales from the deck of a whale-watching boat off the coast of Maine. They are playful, graceful creatures - despite the bulbous protrusion to which they owe the undignified nickname "pothead," as well as their latin title Globicephala maleana (I'm guessing that means something like "globe head," but my Latin is rusty). They travel in groups, or pods, within which they develop smaller family units that are stable over time.
Those Europeans always seem to be - environmentally, at least - one step ahead. They have seafood labels, wind farms, viable Green parties...and now a multi-national body acknowledging the danger of navy sonar testing to whales and dolphins. Last week, by a vote of 441 to 15 (with 14 abstentions), the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking its member states to quit sonar testing until scientists have fully assessed its effect on ocean life.
[editor's note, by Jason] Jon Warrenchuk is currently participating in NOAA's 2004 Gulf of Alaska Seamount Expedition. He was unable to get to a PC to blog on the 8th, so we rejoin him on the 11th day of his expedition.
August 09, 2004: For the next few days we'll be sampling Welker seamount.
From the Associated Press -- Scientists Spot Rare Blue Whales in Alaska:
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Federal scientists have sighted a rare mammal in Alaska waters - endangered blue whales, the largest animal known to live on Earth.
The sighting by researchers on board a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel means the blue whale population may be getting healthier and expanding back to traditional territories.
From Reuters -- "Dead Whales Land in Canaries After Naval Exercises":
Two dead whales have landed in Spain's Canary Islands, raising fears they may have been hurt by NATO military exercises off Morocco and that more could have died, officials said on Friday.