Fun, sun, and a sea state one

Our last two days on the water for the SEUS 2014 field season were amazing. Despite predictions of rain and wind, the weather ended up being beautiful – no rain and a sea state between 0 and 1 all day.

Like liquid gold

Like liquid gold. Photo: Dana Cusano

Not only were we treated to wonderful weather and seas, we got crystal clear views of a plethora of species. Some were even firsts for me!

Cannonball jellyfish - photo by D. Cusano

Cannonball jellyfish. Photo: Dana Cusano

Possibly some sort of mackerel?

Possibly some sort of mackerel? Photo: Dana Cusano

Kemps ridley sea turtle, a critically endangered species - photo by D. Cusano

Kemps ridley sea turtle, a critically endangered species. Photo: Dana Cusano

Possibly the biggest mola, or ocean sunfish, any of us had ever seen - photo by D. Cusano

Possibly the biggest mola, or ocean sunfish, any of us had ever seen. Photo: Dana Cusano

A group of active bottlenose dolphins - photo by D. Cusano

A group of active bottlenose dolphins. Photo: Dana Cusano

And even a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins! Definitely an unexpected but pleasant surprise! - photo by D. Cusano

And even a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins! Definitely an unexpected but pleasant surprise! Photo: Dana Cusano

Atlantic spotted dolphin juvenile - photo by D. Cusano

Atlantic spotted dolphin juvenile. Photo: Dana Cusano

We also got to see a leatherback turtle, a loggerhead turtle, a parasitic jaeger and a giant group of feeding birds that included several species of shearwaters, gulls, terns, and gannets. That’s quite a list, and two days I will never forget!

Oh I almost forgot the best part! WE GOT A TAG ON! Under our permit, we are allowed to tag calves and on our very last day, the calf of #2746 presented us with the perfect opportunity. Naturally, we took it!

Calf breaching - photo by D. Cusano taken under NMFS permit #775-1875-02

A very active calf! Photo: Dana Cusano

A beautiful sight - photo by L. Conger, taken under NMFS permit #775-1875-02

A beautiful sight. Photo: Lisa Conger

What a great way to end the season. Now we have a month to analyze our data and get ready for the Cape Cod field season, starting April 1st. Check back then for a final mom count and updates on more tagging adventures!

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