I’m writing this from a NOAA ship in the middle of the South Pacific ocean. We just left American Samoa en route to Hawaii via Palmyra Atoll. It sure was strange to wake up in a cold, dreary, rainy Bellingham and then a few flights later be in a warm, humid tropical paradise, but that’s how it goes sometimes. My freshly exposed skin is pretty excited to see the light; I can tell by the way it immediately turned bright red within seconds of meeting the equatorial sun.
So far the mammalian soup is as thin as expected, with only two sightings in the two days we’ve been out. Yesterday I caught a group of presumably spotted dolphins right at dusk and today I found a mixed group of spotters and striped dolphins hiding in the glare. Luckily there are enough Cook’s and Mottled petrels, Audobon’s, dark morph Wedge-tailed, and Sooty shearwaters, boobies, noddies, tropicbirds, and other feathery creatures to keep our eyes busy while we scan more charismatic megafauna.
Before I left I started going through all of my POV footage from the season. For various reasons I didn’t have very much to work with but today I was finally able to put together a little something that will at least give me a nice reminder of a fine season. Lots of high speed pow, a bit of meadow skipping, and the odd huge huck by Super Frenchie Matthias Giraud. Big thanks to Jean Remy Ceron of PVS for his non-POV footage. The first portion was taken in Japan with Grant Gunderson, K.C. Deane, Carston Oliver, and Johnny Collinson and the rest was taken at Mt. Baker.