Spyhop rides again

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Uncategorized

dolphin research boat

Spyhop with the new Suzuki 140 hp 4 stroke motor. Photo by Ambika Menon

Keith Rittmaster, Natural Science Curator at the NC Maritime Museum, extends industrial strength gratitude to the following donors who conspired to fund a new outboard motor for the Friends of the Museum boat “Spyhop”. Keith uses the boat to benefit NC students, citizens, and marine wildlife in all aspects of his work that includes responding to marine mammal strandings and entanglements, maintaining monofilament fishing line receptacles, research and educational field trips, and continuing the local long-term (since 1985) bottlenose dolphin photo-identification project. Thank you!!

Ben Turney

Bruce and Regina McCutcheon

Bud and Anna Doughton

Dail and Laurie Holderness

Dennis Sorensen and Bobbi Wallinger

Graham and Nora Barden

Haywood and Mary Holderness

John and Sandra Atkins

Julian and Sandra Mann

Keith Rittmaster and Vicky Thayer

Lee and David Moore-Crawford

Molly Matlock

Penn and Kim Holderness

Ralph and Susan McCaughan

Ray Luce and Mary Anne Olsen

Sam and Nancye Bryan

Steve and Pam Hassenfelt

Tom and Nancy Reams

Woody and Marty Warburton


Gervais’ beaked whale skeletal display

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Bonehenge; Cetacean rearticulation, Uncategorized

Gervais Whale Skeleton (Mesoplodon europaeus)

gervais whale skeleton

Gervais Beaked whale, currently on display at Duke marine lab until November 2017


The Gervais is the most frequently stranded beaked whale in North Carolina. This skeleton was re-articulated from a whale which stranded on July 18, 2012 on the ocean beach of Salvo, NC. It was a 356 cm long, 445 kg sub-adult male. After the necropsy and pectoral fin radiographs, the bones were labeled, wrapped in nylon netting, and macerated in water with horse feces for nine warm months. The Gervais whale skeleton is now on display in the Repass Ocean Conservation Center at Duke marine lab in Beaufort. Watch a video of hanging the whale skeleton.

Around 340 man hours were dedicated to this project. We would like to thank everyone who helped with reporting, recovery, moving carcass, consultation, necropsy, related research, radiographs, bone weighing, bone preparation, note taking, carpentry, photography, volunteer/staff provisioning, music, and funding.

The team of Nan Bowles, Josh Summers, and Keith Rittmaster recently put the final touches on a Gervais’ beaked whale skeleton and presented it at the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Marine Mammal Symposium.

In November 2017 it is scheduled to go on display at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. As far as we know, this is the only skeletal display of this species in the world!

2016 Thank you donors, volunteers, contributors, and collaborators!

Written by Tursiops. Posted in Thank You / Volunteer, Uncategorized

Thank you 2016 donors, volunteers, contributors, and collaborators!
Listed below are individuals/groups whose generosity helped sustain and improve the Cape Lookout Studies Program in 2016 by providing printer ink, photo paper, office supplies, sandpaper, boat fuel, belt sander, cleaning supplies, food, batteries, Sirius/XM radio subscription, book writing, book editing, book publishing, book sales, food, drinks, Ryobi cordless combo power tool set, AC/DC cooler/warmer, computer maintenance, notebooks, artwork , attorney fees, shovel, celebrations, web hosting fees, web site maintenance, fencing, lumber, hardware cloth, lodging in DC, bench grinder, monofilament bin maintenance, Spyhop maintenance, dolphin license plate promotion, $45,581 in cash donations/grants, and approximately 1,090 hours of volunteer time. THANK YOU!!
Sincere thanks also go out to everyone who has an NC “Protect Wild Dolphins” special license plate which raised through Friends of the Museum a total of $10,360 in 2016. The dolphins thank you too.

Congratulations and thanks to Vicky Thayer, the 2016 recipient of the CLSP Outstanding Volunteer award.

Alejandro de la torre
Alex Denson
Alexandra DiGiacomo
Alina Ahmad
Allen Fitz
Andrew Gumbel
Ann Pabst
Anne Straneva
Barbie LaBrun
Bill McLellan
Bonnie Monteleone
Bruce McCutcheon
Bud Doughton
Cam Luck
Candice Sheehan
Carl Cedarholm
Carolina Lamb
Christina Burt
Dan Prendiville
Dana Smith
David Mickey
Dean Vick
Donna Snead
Elizabeth Hanrahan
Ginger Taylor
Haywood Holderness
Helen Aitken
Henrik Cox
Jack Sweeney
James and Lois Pease
Jeremy Dugas
Jim Mead
John Atkins
John Fussell
John Ososky
John Russell
Jong Gwan Lee
Josh Summers
Julian Mann
Kameron Schroeder
Karen Clark
KC Bierlich
Kim Beller
LaNelle Davis
Lee Hinson
Lilla Wieseler
Lingrong Jin
Lookout Foundation
Maddie Go
Mike McEarl
Miriam Brown
Molly Matlock
Nan Bowles
Nivi Ram
Paul Nader
Paul Summers
Pranav Madabhushi
Ralph Merrels
Sam Bryan
Sam Warburton
Steve Hassenfelt
Steve Thornton
Sue Schmidt
Sunny Zhang
Todd Stuart Foundation
Tom Kirmeyer
Tom Reams
Town Creek Marina
Vance/Suzanne Knight
Verena Lawaetz
Vicky Thayer
Virginia Connett
Wendy Donaldson
Woody Warburton

Click here to visit our Thank You page – dedicated to the supporters, volunteers, backers and collaborators of the Cape Lookout Studies Program.

Field Guides & Turtle Watch


Just a few of our collaborators

Here's a random selection from our collaborating partners. Visit the About Us page to see them all.