We’ve instituted a system under which Kaja and I (the two current Team Sousa research assistants) can earn “Australia Points.” My current total stands at 16:
- 5 for trying Vegemite (I ate the whole piece of toast. It was whatever. Just salty.)
3 for eating a meat pie for lunch (mmm… the Great Australian Taste; it’s like the Great Barrier Reef except that fish are friends, not food)
3 for spotting and photographing an emu
5 for successfully driving on the left side of the road
Apparently hitting a kangaroo will gain me Australia Points, not lose them. They’re ubiquitous and nearly every driver hereabouts has stories of them bounding into the road around sunset. I still haven’t seen one, though I drove like a little old lady for a while in fear of what I’ve come to regard as the mule deer of the Southern Hemisphere.
Okay, two plugs now:
1. CEBEL (pronounced “seh-bel,” stands for Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution Lab) has a cool Facebook page and a website, on which you might find descriptions of the North West Cape Dolphin Research Project and a biography of yours truly! Definitely check it out for some great photos and excellent science!
2. Blogging from here has, unfortunately, become quite expensive. Beloved readers, I could really use some help, especially if I want to continue posting photos over the limited and costly bandwidth that I have access to. Therefore, I will dedicate a blog post to any reader who donates $5 US or more to the Vicky-Has-Internet Fund, which you can do either by giving my parents money if you know them OR using SquareCash to send money to email@example.com. Along with your blog dedication, I’d be happy to answer one question you might have about dolphins, Australia, marine biology, ukulele, my life, or anything else you think I can tell you about.
Tomorrow the winds will be high again, so it looks like another day of data processing. But that’s okay- I’m learning a lot about what it takes to manage a photo library this large and specific, how to organize and clarify data, and how to match fins by sight. It’s pretty satisfying to really recognize an individual by its fin cutting through the water either in person or on a computer screen, and I’ve got a fun playlist to listen to while renaming files and GPS waypoints. Lovely readers, even we field biologists in sunny climes and turquoise waters must turn to a little Beyoncé now and then to raise our spirits. But doesn’t everyone?