Bottlenose and spotteds together
Today, our eighth boat trip of the 2005 season, was pretty productive. With a seriously full boat (3 crew, 2 researchers and 13 guests), we came upon a group of 10 bottlenose at 1704. We observed them from the boat for about 10 minutes before venturing further into the dolphin grounds in search of spotteds. We found this group, with several bottlenose, at 1837, just as passengers were giving up hope for the day. The group was intermingling and the male bottlenose were very obviously trying to mate with the spotted dolphins, which means we have good observational data for Kelly’s Master’s thesis. The sighting resulted in two separate encounters, and even though we were losing light as the sunset, we are hoping that the video will be useful. We already know for sure that the following animals were present: #09 (Finn), #12 (Juliette), #14 (Tina), #76 (Nemo) and possibly #15 (Freckles). Juliette was seen very pregnant last October. Today, we saw her riding the bow with a calf that looked like it could have 7 or 8 months old. However, we didn’t see the calf nurse or even swim in echelon with Juliette (this is a protective position commonly seen between mother and calf). Hopefully later this summer we’ll get confirmation that Juliette had a healthy calf at the end of last year.
So, now we have another hour of video to log later this week, or early next. There may be another dolphin trip this Sunday, otherwise we have to wait until Wednesday to get out on the boat again.
Kel and Darcie