Last Thursday, we finished the last of the repairs on the boat by fitting the new steering cable, which took us several hours of greasy work when the guy in the instructional video only took five minutes; go figure! We then took the boat out for a short test-drive in Withlacooche in the afternoon. We were all smiles when the engine ran fine and the new steering cable did the job! As a bonus, we did our first sighting of the season with a group (10+) of social dolphins!
The following days came with great weather and we were out for whole days on the water, one in Waccasassa and one in Withlacooche. With a total of 10 sightings and one instance of very-close-to-DB behavior, it was a very exciting 2 days and just the kind of encouragement we needed after all the hard work and patience we put into the boat.
The last few days, however, have not been as lucky weather-wise. Alberto, a sub-tropical storm that graced Florida with a week of unpredictable weather, has kept us off the water with high winds, rough waves, and rain. But we are not without work! Everyone has been keeping busy with data processing as well as plenty of photo ID sorting and searching. Instead of physical exhaustion on the water, we’ve been exercising our brains in the lab! As Alberto heads further North and the effects of its presence dwindle, we are hopeful the weather will be better for us in the coming days and we can get back out on the water!