Hi! My name is Ms. Thompson. I am a third grade teacher at the Collegiate School in New York. Join me as I study bottlenose dolphins in the waters of Greece!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Rainy Day in Vonitsa

Today we were unable to go out to sea because it was raining and the sea state was at a level three. It is difficult to see dolphins at this level because the water is too choppy. There are 5 different sea states ranging from 0 to 4. Zero is very smooth like a mirror and four is when you have very choppy water with a lot of foam.

Even though we were not able to look for dolphins we still had plenty to do to keep us busy. We walked around the small village of Vonitsa. You can see from the picture that it is quite beautiful. There is a very old castle sitting at the top of a hill that overlooks the town. We walked to it, but we were not able to go inside because it is closed until summr. After that we went back to the research station and watched a documentary about overfishing and the effects it is having on the different populations of fish. It is called The End of the Line. There is one fish that will probably be extinct in the near future because of the rate in which it is caught. Many of you like a popular food that contains this fish. What fish do you think it might be? This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and we can help. How do you think we might be able to go about doing this?

Identifying Dolphins

We spent the afternoon identifying the dolphins that we spotted in the Amvrakikos Gulf yesterday. We would compare the photos from yesterday to photos that have been taken over the past nine years. Each dolphin has specific marks on its dorsal fin that makes it easier to identify them. How do you think the dolphins get these marks?


At April 19, 2010 at 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it tuna? The only other popular fish I was thinking of was sardines. It does look beautiful! I have no idea how they get their dorsal fin markings! I'm really going to learn a lot from you ms. Thompson! Can't wait for your next update. Love, Mrs. Bocchetti

At April 19, 2010 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vonitsa does look beautiful. I'm wondering how the food is? Mrs. Hutchinson

At April 19, 2010 at 10:37 PM , Anonymous Ms. Kahn said...

Hi, Ms. Thompson! It was great seeing you at assembly today. We all learned a lot.
Hope the water is less choppy tomorrow. The third graders will be looking at dorsal fins tomorrow, too! :-) Take care!

At April 20, 2010 at 8:05 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

I can't reveal the fish just yet Mrs. Bocchetti, but tuna is a good guess. I will also reveal how they get their dorsal fin markings on my next blog post. I am learning a lot and I am excited to get to share what I have learned with everybody.

At April 20, 2010 at 8:07 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

The food has been quite good. Each night one a volunteer team (made up of 2 Earthwatch members) has dinner duty. We make a dish that is specific to our homeland. I was responsible for last night's menu. What do you think I made?

At April 20, 2010 at 8:08 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

The water was even more choppy today. We still went out though, but again no dolphins. We may try again this afternoon. It was nice to see you too and I liked your question. I had been wondering the same thing.

At April 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

K1 thinks that the markings on the dolphins might be from: boats, sharks, they are just born with it like a birthmark, from playing with other dolphins, or from predators. We love reading your blog and we hope you are having fun!

At April 20, 2010 at 3:50 PM , Anonymous 3Z said...

3Z thinks the fish is tuna (we thought about how popular tuna salad is). Our ideas for helping to protect against overfishing are: 1) protest or boycott companies that overfish, and 2) only buy tuna that is labeled "dolphin friendly," so we know it comes from a fishing method that isn't hurting the dolphin population. We are going to check out different brands in the supermarket to see what we can find out.

As for dolphin markings, we were lucky to read your post right before Mrs. Kahn's amazing lesson on dolphin identification. Now we know that each dolphin has notches on his or her dorsal fin that are unique to that dolphin. They are like birthmarks, and also may be changed by the scrapes and nicks a dolphin gets from playing or fighting off a predator. Check out the photos and video we're putting on our blog from the lesson!

At April 20, 2010 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Thompson-

We tried to answer some of your questions today on our blog. Check it out to see if we were right!



At April 21, 2010 at 1:14 PM , Blogger Nicole T. said...


You are absolutely right! Great job figuring that out. I am very pleased that you are following me on this journey. Please post any questions you might have about what I am doing.

At April 21, 2010 at 1:19 PM , Blogger Nicole T. said...


I am impressed. Tuna is the fish, but it is specifically the blue fin tuna. This is the kind you would find in sushi or sashimi. It is the best quality of tuna on the market so lots of people buy it. Your ideas about how we can help were spot on. Not only should we look for dolphin-safe tuna, we should also begin asking questions about where our fish (and other foods) come from and if sustainable systems are being used to bring us our food.

I hope you learned a lot from Ms. Kahn. While you guys were identifying dolphins at home I was doing it here too using the same technique Ms. Kahn taught you. I miss you guys. Keep up your amazing comments. Also I checked out your blog and it was awesome!

At April 22, 2010 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi it is Quint it is too bad that it is raining today. I hope you still have a great day learning about dolphins.



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