Science is going great and we are smashing JR records right and left, but what about the promised marine mammals? So far all I have seen are a few crazy seals.
I saw one late at night and have no idea what it was doing. But the ones that have been sited in the daylight are rolling. And, of course, for all I know it’s the same one, but at both sites? And some have reported seeing two at once. But all they seem to do is float near the top of the water and roll, like a kid rolling downhill. This one was near the bow yesterday and close enough to be more than a dot on my camera.
If it sticks around the ship for a couple of days we will be unable to do vertical seismic profiling at this site. If we see any marine mammals at all from the ship we are not allowed to shoot off our airguns. Airguns literally generate a big air bubble and that generates the seismic signal that we record inside the hole. To the best of my understanding, the airguns used by scientists do not harm marine mammals, although they do attract them. However, military operations have harmed whales in the past and now all seismic experiments in the presence of any marine mammals are strictly forbidden.