We’ll see how the footage comes out
Today was Day 1 of a full Dolphin Week. These passengers will be with us on the boat through Thursday–and if the rest of the week goes as well as today, we’ll have a LOT of video to go through next week! We also had a reporter onboard from the Tampa CBS affiliate. We’ll see if DCP gets some TV time in the next few weeks!
So, back to the boat trip: We departed a little late, but everyone was excited, despite their long day of travel. We found a group of bottlenose dolphins not far off the island, before we even made it to our snorkel stop! Everyone observed from the boat as these animals were not very interested in the boat.
Next it was onto the first snorkel stop of the week, Rainbow Reef. This stop gives everyone the opportunity to practice snorkeling, make sure their gear is in working order and generally just get acquainted with the water–oh, wait, and to see a beautiful reef!
It was not long after this snorkel stop that we were in the dolphin grounds. And it wasn’t long after we were in the dolphin grounds that we sighted spotted dolphins! We traveled with this group, which included #09 (Finn), #10 (Romeo), #76 (Nemo), #77 (Dandy) and newly identified #80, for some time before entering the water. Once in the water, we also observed 2 bottlenose with this group. We were in and out of the water twice during this sighting, which lasted an hour and a half. From the boat, we noted that #17 (Lumpy) and #48 (Niecey) were also in the area along with a small calf, who is missing about half of the right fluke. Perhaps this will be dolphin #81??!!!
A short time later, we again came upon the group of spotted and bottlenose dolphins. We were able to enter the water again and saw that #14 (Tina) and #35 (Lil’ Jess) were also present. By the time we were out of the water, it was nearly 19:30 and definitely time to head into the dock. But, this wouldn’t stop the dolphins from giving us a fourth sighting–a group of 7 spotted dolphins hung out around our boat and at the bow for ten minutes as we traveled southwest alongside the island.
Back at the dock at 20:22, we said goodnight to our passengers, letting them know that they were a bit spoiled tonight! Hopefully the rest of the week will be able to live up to today!
Kel and Darcie