The White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship is proud to introduce you to our assistants:

Lori ORTEGA from Galveston (Texas, USA), Suraida NANEZ-JAMES from Galveston (Texas, USA), Hal STINESPRING from Crystal Lake (Illinois, USA) and Alec CONNAH from Telford (Shropshire, United Kingdom).

Michael UNWIN from Watford (United Kingdom) remained with us to assist with the shark tracking and satellite tagging project in Mossel Bay.

Saturday the 17th of May 2003... the first day for our new assistants... a really bad day! The sea was rough, the wind was blowing and the reflection on the water was extremely bad, and the sharks just did not want to show us their fins, and to top everything up, the boat engines gave us some problems... Nevertheless, we observed nine sharks! Let's hope that everything gets better in the next few days...
Sunday the 18th of May 2003 welcomed us with a wonderful day, except for the wind and SWerly swells... preventing us from going out to sea unless we wanted to repeat the previous day's experience.

Lori, Suraida, Hal and Alec went for a walk along De Kelders coastline of Walker Bay... After driving them to the far end of the shore before the beach, they visited the caves and walked along the rocky shores back home.

Fortunately, the weather forecast for the next few days seems to be rather on the positive side, and we should have some very nice days with little wind and calmer seas ahead of us...

Monday the 19th of May 2003... beautiful day without a cloud in the sky... but one of the worst shark days ever! We observed and identified five White Sharks from their body markings, and noted an additionnal 10-15 shark observations... which does not sound bad, but none of the sharks came close to the surface... they all stayed deep with the water visibility being very good!
We then drove Lamnidae through Shark Alley to observe the Cape Fur Seal colony... a visit which is never disappointing as the colony is permanent! And one our way back, we observed a steamy cloud raising from the ocean, which turned out to be a couple of Humpback Whale...
Tuesday the 20th of May 2003 turned out to be a wonderful day... flat sea and no wind... which would usually sound good, but in our case, wind helps creating a good chum slick which we need to attract Sharks... It was slow day with only three sharks... but our first Shark stayed with us for over half a hour! And she was a familiar shark to the database, which makes it always a great meeting!

Hal (yes, yes, the Space Odyssey computer seems to have upgraded its circuits - although this remains open for debate) certainly seems to have become a real "Master Baitor"...

Happy Birthday Alec!

MichaelU is leaving to Mossel Bay tomorrow to join the research team on location tagging and tracking Sharks...