A crew member found a stowaway hummingbird frozen on the stern deck one day. It looked dead but it wasn’t. Apparently hummingbirds go into a hibernation mode if it gets cold all of a sudden. He picked it up, put in a Tupperware with an air vent poked, and left it in the warm galley overnight. The next morning, the students started feeding it some sugar water. After a few days, it was strong enough to fly all over the galley terrorizing us. So the students decided it was time to let it fly back to shore. Hopefully, it made it. The ship was about 30 miles offshore at the time.
One evening while we were working in the Gulf of Mexico on board RV Pelican, a huge family of dolphins decided to play with the ship’s wake. They surfed with us for a while. Not shown in this video, but there was an infant with the fetal ring still visible. That baby was keeping up! They are such playful creatures.
I just returned from a six-day field work on board R/V Pelican out of Cocodrie, Louisiana. Sure, big data, signal processing, the latest genetic probes and such are very gratifying when they point to the direction of supporting your ideas. But in the end, your ideas must be directly rooted in the first-hand observations of the actual nature.