Sunday, May 20th, 2001
I arrived midway through the morning session. I immediately took out my camera and attempted to document the action as best I could. It was hard to know who to follow, because all three dolphins seemed to be very energetic and enthusiastic, although Hiapo was still a little stubborn as he always is. I snapped a couple of good shots but mostly I took some video to show how the interns play with the dolphins. They are so good at reading the dolphin's mood and finding unique and interesting things to do with them. I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to do a session like they do.
After session was over, I noticed that Hiapo was carrying around a white, squishy ball that was accidentially left in the tank from last session. I told Mike about it, but he wasn't too concerned and figured it'd get tossed out of the tank eventually. I followed Hiapo around and watched what he was doing to see if maybe he'd toss the ball to me. Nope. As soon as the ball drifted over to the side of the tank and I got anywhere near it, he'd come over and toss it back into the middle of the tank, or take off underwater with it in his mouth. He would kind of toy with the idea of tossing it on the side of the tank, but would take off shortly after that. Alanna came by and saw the ball, and went up to the tank and started talking to Hiapo.
"I'm sorry H man. I'd really like to give it to you, but I can't. I'm sorry.. ", is all I could say to him. I hope he doesn't think any less of me because of what happened there.
I spent part of the afternoon playing around with pictures and this website to pass the time. If it seems like I spend a lot of time doing these journals, well, you're not mistaken. I usually take about 2 hours a day to do a journal, and about another hour to put pictures on the page. It's not a small job!
The afternoon session was absolutely amazing. I talked with the trainers before the session and asked if they could maybe let me know when they were planning to send their dolphin on a straight jump or some kind of arial maneuver so I could attempt to get a picture. As I've said before, I'm still looking for a really good dolphin jump picture. I took a bunch of good ones today. The entire session was entertaining to watch just from the dolphin's attitude towards the open style of the trainers.Along with the great pictures I managed to get, I also took some great video of the session that I'm sure I'll be watching for a long time to come. Julia, Ashleigh, Sophie, Emmanuelle, Geoff, and Leonard all stopped by half way through the session to see how things were going. I had mentioned to them that weekends were a good day to come in to see good sessions. Julia had rented a car for the weekend and most of them had come in that... a convertable Ford Mustang... quite nice. They all enjoyed the session about as much as I did.
After the session was over,Julia was nice enough to give me a ride over to Snapshot, and I picked up the finshed pictures for Craig. There were six 4x6 prints, and they cost $2 a piece. While the quality was good, I don't know if they were worth the money or time they involved. There was a little bit of colour banding, but nothing too noticable and Craig really seemed to like them.
Everyone else ended up leaving shortly after we got back with the pictures so Julia could take the car back to Waikiki. I stuck around with Leonard and played some Unreal Tournament to kill some time. Hey, it beats sitting around watching TV! The interesting part of the night wasn't our game, though. On my way down to use the washroom, I saw some familiar eyes following me around the tank... It was Ake and Phoenix, and they were in quite a playfull mood. Ake was whistling like she always does when she wants attention, so I took a look into the tank close to the stairway that goes up to the tower to see what she was up to. When she saw me, she made her way over to the side of the tank and gave those same short whistles as she turned on her side and looked at me. Then, she slapped her tail on the water and went under the water to the window hidden beneath the tower.
"No, you don't want that? What do you want then?", I asked them as they stared at me through the window, ever patient for entertainment. I turned the water off, and they didn't react significantly, so I looked around to see if there was anything mildly interesting to play a game with. All that was down there was a bunch of flat, wooden spacers they use for the angular resolution apparatus. Ok, I can work with that. I started playing the gravity game with them, where I'd put one at the top of the window and drop it down until it hit the bottom of the window. Every time, they'd follow the spacer exactly, jerking their heads in a downward motion. Some might think this to be a sign of aggression or irritation, but in this case, they're just following the object. I know this from experience and from what others have told me at the lab. Who knows why the dolphins continue to be facinated by something so simple, even after seeing it for so long and so many times.
This wasn't the only time that night I had an opportunity to play with the dolphins either. Later on, I was going down to get something to eat from the candy fund in the diamondhead office (a shelf with chips and stuff for 50 cents). I was just walking past the front windows of the tank and I heard a very loud, playfull whistle I didn't recognise. I turned around, and there was Hiapo, whistling and clicking away, slapping his tail on the water and being about as noisy as he could be to get someone's attention.
"What are you doing, silly?", I asked him.
"I think he wants to play," said Brian, who was sitting at the table in the front lanai at the time.
I'm glad I went to the lab today. Hopefully this next week will be a good one!
You may use the pictures and content from this page for school and personal use ONLY. Please feel free to use the pictures as your desktop background, in school projects, or give them to friends, as long as they are unmodified. The material on this site is NOT permitted to be used on other websites or for comercial use without written permisson from Rob Harrison. Feel free to email me if you have ANY questions or comments, and be sure to sign my guestbook!
You may use the pictures and content from this page for school and personal use ONLY. Please feel free to use the pictures as your desktop background, in school projects, or give them to friends, as long as they are unmodified. The material on this site is NOT permitted to be used on other websites or for comercial use without written permisson from Rob Harrison.
Feel free to email me if you have ANY questions or comments, and be sure to sign my guestbook!