Fittingly enough, today was the workshop's pratical day--the plan was to go out fishing, catch a mature female Humboldt squid, and perform in vitro fertilization with all the brightest stars in the field.
Well, everything went perfectly, except three hours of fishing yielded not a single squid.
In all other regards, it was a lovely day out on the water of the open Pacific, just outside Bahia Magdalena. We had beautiful weather, no one got seasick, and best of all, we stumbled across a huge pod of common dolphins. "Hierve el agua," commented Cesar Salinas, and indeed, the water seemed to boil with the dolphins' acrobatics.
But why no squid? The most probable reason has to do with oceanographic conditions. It's been a strange year for Humboldt squid all over, starting with an El Nino that now seems to be turning into La Nina.
However, a more dramatic rendition of the story could have it that all those dolphins we saw ate all the squid we didn't.
And the most fanciful explanation: "Son calamares mexicanos," Cesar pointed out. "Somos muy festivarios." Clearly, the squid were all out celebrating Squid Day, somewhere far away from us pesky scientists.