My trip to Dolphin Encounters was only four days this month, but it was very productive and yielded more almost 3.5 hours of data. It was great to see the dolphins again and to record their behavior and interactions. In between my data collection sessions with the dolphins I had the opportunity to watch the sea lions and sea turtle. I even saw a few of the blue crabs feeding on algae. The sea lions were hilarious - very funny and boisterous!

I look forward to my return to Dolphin Encounters in 2010 to continue DCP's observations of the dolphins and to learn more about their behaviors. I'll include a bit more of a summary of our data collection sessionin the next issue of the Dolphin Gazette - due in early December!



It rained last night but cleared by morning and the sun shown brilliantly. We had a good start to the day and I was in the water with Dot, Chippy and Jake by about 9:45 am. A few times, I felt that Dot and Chippy were "sneaking" up on me, maybe observing my behavior? They would click on me only just as they swam by me - from about 4 meters away and slowly by me. Jake whistled a few times when he was around the females and as he swam around me.

Right after exiting the water from observing these three adults, I shifted to a front pool and had the five young males in a group: Shawn, Andy, Salvador, Cacique and Goombay. The underwater visibility was not really good - very silty - but there was rubbing behavior between the young dolphins. Pec fin contact and a few circle swims. Goombay got a bit more brave and poked at my fin tips a bit. Almost like tag, your it!

I had a third session late in the morning today with Gussie Mae, Nina, Stomry, Soca and Missy. It wasa good session with much buzzing and some fast swims all around me. The visibility was so so and thus I often tried to stay about a meter below the surface ... to have the best view possible. 

Today was an awesome day!


Today was a great session with the young boys in one of the front pools. The underwater visibility had improved even more and so I could see the parallel swims, and follow the dolphins for farther underwater without being too close. Very neat. Goombay was curious about my fins, but not too curious while Andy and Salvador swam under and around me. They even shared a pectoral fin contact!

Of course, I was clicked on and whistled at ... I must admit that there are times when I wish I could read the dolphins' minds and just know exactly what they were thinking. But, watching their behavior is the next best thing!

My afternoon session was shorter than planned. I was in a back pool with Princess, her year-old son Clifton, Abaco, Aunty V and Laguna. Aunty V paid no attention to me, but swam belly up by me a few times. Abaco and Laguna were a bit curious about me - after all this was my first session with them. Clifton was VERY curious and all around me, buzzing at the MVA and maybe even checking out his reflection in the front port. Princess did not seem to want Clifton around me much and let the trainers know my session should be done. She swam fast by me and then leaped over me. Her behavior definitely let us know what was on her mind!

More data for tomorrow!



The underwater visibility was much improved today. I was able to enter for three sessions and collect about an hour of data. I began my day with Dot, Chippy and Jake. Chippy was very curious and checked me out often. Jake and Dot were a bit less curious of me, but it could have been that they had also just finished breakfast.

Almost immediately after my first session, I was able to observe Nina, Stormy and Gussie Mae. They were in a different pool but were very laid back about me in there to observe them. That is, Nina and Stormy paid my little attention and swam slowly around me while Gussie Mae made a few swift circle swims. All three clicked on me or around me while Stormy whistles a few times too.

Shortly after finishing my second session, I was able to observe three of the young boys - Andy, Goombay and Salvador. They were quite energetic and inquisitive. A few fast passes by me or under me while clicking and a few chases among each other.

What was even more entertaining - sort of - was that several of the dolphins "snuck up on me". That is, they'd click only when right behind or below me and then swim past me. 

I had a great day and was very glad to collect an hour of data today!

We head in early tomorrow for another day of observations.



Today was a great day because I was able to get in the water a couple of times and record dolphin behavior and sounds. My first entry was with Nina and Stormy in one of the back area pools. They were on a date, as it were. Nina is an adult female and Stormy a young adult male. They were curious about me and the array but with passing click trains and belly-up swims. Very neat to be back in the water.

My second entry was with Soca and Miss Merlin: two females with lots of personality. They were more interested in eating and hanging out near the trainers than me. I did receive a few investigative passes. Too bad the underwater visibility had gotten really silty.

The wind was up a the seas a bit choppy. A mid-afternoon rain squall kept the visibility low also. Tomorrow the wind is predicted to be a bit lower and the vis a bit better. We start the day tomorrow on the 7:30 am boat. Good thing the water is warm and the sun was out.

Until tomorrow.


I was able to spend a couple of days in Abaco. It was wonderful, even if Hurricane Ida seemed to have kept the wind and seas a bit choppy. Or maybe I am just blaming Ida for the weather since she is the latest Hurricane I have encountered in a particular season!

I'll be on Nassau this evening and out to Blue Lagoon Island tomorrow (Tuesday) to begin this session of data collection observing the dolphins at Dolphin Encounters. It'll be quite nice to see our friends (both dolphin and human) again this season. I'll provide a dolphin and research update tomorrow or Wednesday once we are set for observations.


Tomorrow morning I head to The Bahamas and will begin collecting data on the dolphins at Dolphin Encounters a few days after arrival. It is indeed fall in New England and I am very glad to be spending a brief period in The Bahamas. So, I'll keep this message brief and will chime in again after seeing the dolphins again.




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