25 July, 1998

Myrtle Brijbasi

TEA/Alaska - 98

Journal Entry 16 - July 25, 1998

Alaska SeaLife Center, Ak

It is a special morning in Seward - our final day of research. It is also raining and it is foggy. Dr. Ben-David made the morning even more special by preparing a pancake breakfast for us. The meal was delicious and there was plenty to eat. Following breakfast, we went to the SeaLife Center to attend to the otters. Pilot, Lilbit, Champagne, Lucky and Naked were fed in their dens. They did not come out to feed during feeding time. Dr. Ben-David was very concerned about Naked (one on medication), but was relieved after feeding it. Dr. Ben-David and I cleaned and fed the otters while Elisa and Noa recorded observations. Early in the day after feeding, the otters were somewhat quiet and remained in their dens most of the time. They occasionally peeped outside through the openings of the dens to check on what was going on and to grunt and squeak at an otter or person passing by.

Olav was busy installing the outdoor cameras which will be used for observations, while Dr. Ben-David was programming a new computerized gadget - similar to a palm pilot, to record observations with just the touch of the pen on to the appropriate square of the pad. This is neat ! Elisa and Noa continued to enter data into the computer to bring all data entry current.

It was a slow day for observations. Nothing exciting was going on and as I said earlier, the otters stayed in their dens. Since the blankets were all wet from the rain, it meant major laundry. Nine towels and eighteen blankets were laundered.

The sun appeared later in the day and the rain stopped around noon. To get the otters to be active, some live salmon were placed into the pool for them to catch, since there were not going to be any pm feeding. Shortly after the salmon were placed in the pool, the otters started swimming and diving and chasing the fish. Leo was the first to catch a fish and many of the others went fishing. Being assured that there was enough food for all of them, we went to dinner ourselves.

It was a very pleasant evening. Dr. Ben-David was very entertaining by sharing interesting anecdotes, and riddles for us to solve. Susanne also told us of her future plans, especially on how to get rich quick, including marrying a rich husband. Dr. Ben-David gave her some insightful strategies on how to achieve those plans. Olav was also drafted into the strategic planning. After a wonderful evening of fun, good food and laughter, we returned to our pads to pack and get ready to leave Seward for Anchorage and Fairbanks the following morning at 8.30 am. So long from Seward! Stay tuned to read about our experiences in Fairbanks. Bye bye.

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