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- Match My Whale - a Humpback Whale Fluke Identification Project
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Nearing the End
Today has marked the last day for our research team on the water the 2010 season. After 85 days in the field we sadly have trailered our research vessel for the last time this year, and have begun preparations for our return back home to Maui. The next four days will be spent driving all our gear north to settle into storage where it will sit for only 9 months before the team is back at it again next year, but just like our equipment we admittedly do need a break. Hands and feet are cold, muscles are exhausted, and minds are set on seeing loved ones back home, but no words can explain the significance of these last three months of research.
We have put every muscle, mindset, and ounce of energy into collecting the puzzle pieces, but now it’s time to head home and put the whole puzzle together. Humpbacks IDed in the Port Douglas, Cairns, the Whitsundays, Hervey Bay, and Eden areas this season will aid our efforts in establishing just who these animals are and where they travel. Every animal will be singlehandedly analyzed and matched to our main catalogue of over 5,600 individual animals, and every animal will be a step forward in building the big picture as to the South Pacific population.
Every blog read, every dollar donated, and every supportive comment has made this project happen. No portion (no matter how large, no matter how small) of these past three months would have been possible without the support of our members, supporters, colleges, family, or friends. You all have been the very heart of this enormous, monumental effort, and we cannot thank you enough.
It will still be 5 days before we arrive back in Maui and begin sorting through the months of accumulated data, but as of today our field efforts have officially come to a close for the 2010 season. There have been highs, there have been lows, there have been ups and downs, but when it comes to success and accomplishment we have succeeded!
Thank you to all and everyone for making this year possible! We’re coming home!