...or at least that's what he said when he first saw mine! For those of you who don't know him, Tim is a cetacean biologist who I met at a marine mammal conference last December. Over lunch with mutual friends he mentioned that he was looking for a manatee biologist to come to Gabon to study manatees there. I gave him a business card, never expected to hear from him again, and was very surprised to receive an email about a month later, asking if I wanted to start working on a proposal for manatee research. Hard to believe that was less than a year ago.
After my 2 months in Gabon, Tim and I have now developed a pretty good working partnership. We've learned how to work through each other's bad moods, goofy moods, my need for morning coffee, his need to disappear every once in awhile, and both of our need to take a zillion pictures. Other things I've learned alot about Tim over the past couple months:
- When he's not chewing on the biopsy darts, he has absolutely amazing accuracy at collecting genetic samples from whales at sea.
- He takes longer to pack for a 3 day camping trip than most other people would take to pack for a month.
- He never has any idea where he'll be in 2 weeks.
- He knows how to find great food anywhere, no matter if he's in a city or the jungle.
- He is absolutely certain he will be killed by a hippo.
So Tim, this blog is for you. Thanks for all your help with logistics and for introducing me to so many wonderful people and places in Gabon. You're a true friend and I look forward to more great collaboration between Wildlife Trust and Wildlife Conservation Society on West African manatees. I'll never be able to thank you enough for inviting me on this incredible adventure.
Cheers mate! ;-)