The Acoustics team performed two trips to San Ignacio Lagoon during the winter season of 2010: one initial visit to deploy bottom-mounted, long-term monitoring (LTM) instruments and a second, more extended expedition to tag individual whales.
Scripps Ph.D. students Melania Guerra and Delphine Mathias arrived at the Lagoon campsite Kuyima Ecoturismo on February 5th and joined forces with UNAM Master’s student Anaid Lopez. Initial logistics involved taking an inventory of equipment and arranging boat rental with local campgrounds. Starting on February 6th, the team conducted the construction of two three-element horizontal acoustic arrays and deployed them underwater at two locations. Before departing, two weather stations were set up on Punta Piedra (towards the mouth of the lagoon) and at Kuyima. Melania and Delphine left San Ignacio Lagoon on February 8th after accomplishing all the objectives set out for the first leg of fieldwork.
A second visit took place between February 21st and March 6th. The acoustic stations were recovered in order to replace batteries and back-up the existing data. Once all underwater stations had been re-deployed, the team started tagging whales with suction-cup acoustic tags. Working in close collaboration with the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS) Gray Whale survey team was essential at this stage, as they provided boating expertise and navigation advice, as well as data from their visual surveys. Melania and Delphine brought the season to a close, packing and returning to San Diego with all the scientific gear and valuable data.