20 September 2008
Dolphins of Greece, 11-19 September
We were 5 ladies from the West Coast of the US, yet we all had the pleasure of meeting in the beautiful town of Vonista, Greece. Even though we had to miss 3 days of going out do our research due to weather, I believe the sightings we did have made us all have a greater appreciation of dolphins and the research taking place here. I am so grateful my company, Mitsubishi International Corp., gave me this fantastic opportunity to not only visit Greece but to learn about dolphins,marine life and their associated ecosystems. I felt the lectures greatly added to the experience and increased my knowledge concerning these subjects. I also greatly appreciated being a part of such a great team : Gigi and her quest for her “Greek God”; Stevie with her calm attitude and very vast travel experiences plus her inborn GPS abilities; Dianne, my teammate and our struggles in attempting to use the computer and determining if we had a match with certain dolphins pictures; Rosie,our “younger sister” who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time at LAX and our “Amazing Race” quest to reach Vonitsa in time after the closure of Newark airport on the day of our departure to Greece; Mauro, with his fantastic meals plus his assistance with our computer assignments; Posi, the greatest mascot ever. But, I believe my greatest thanks should go to Joan for all I learned from him during this trip even though I was a novice in this field. I know this may have tried his patience at times but I definitely will leave this experience with more knowledge in this area. I also enjoyed the talks and friendship we shared trying to come up with meals to cook every night plus trying the Italian and Greek red wines at dinner.
Good accomodations, well organized training for project, knowledgeable and passionately committed P.I. Beautiful setting, great interaction with the dolphins. Compatible team members. Mauro and Joan both great cooks! More than met my expectations.
Fantastic views, not only of dolphins but of the area, Greece is beautiful! I would recommend this project to others looking for an education in dolphins and in fishing practices.
Participation in this project was a very positive experience for me. It has left me wanting to participate in more Earthwatch Projects in the future. I appreciate Joan and Mauro’s patience and willingness to share their knowledge.
This was my first Earthwatch project, and it was an exceedingly positive experience for me. Although the youngest of the team, it was quite a pleasure being part of this extensively traveled group. The food was great -- I have never had quite so much pasta over such a short period of time... I laugh of course; the preparation of the meals became a daily discussion among the group. The faciltiy was great – very clean and cozy. Our research assistant Mauro made me laugh on a daily basis, with his Italian charm and sweetness. Joan, our PI was a good “task master” and kept our group together throughout our journey. I acquired such affection for him... he was my friend and a great guide on this journey. I would recommend this expedition to those seeking a better understanding of not only ocean conservation and the dolphin species, but the oceanic Greek culture itself. It is breathtakingly beautiful here, and I am leaving with a greater sense of environmental awareness, which I will carry with me as I travel back to my home in California.