Dolphins & …

calmer seas with less wind

We woke this morning to less wind and no white caps. A good sign. We traveled the remaining distance north and saw a group of 2 bottleose dolphins that rode with the boat for about ten minutes. They were in front of the bow but not really bowriding. Both had distinctive dorsal fins.

Then about an hour later we saw a single spotted dolphins and within a few minutes the rest of the group … a total of 6 spotted dolphins. All were juvenile – possessing spots only on their bellies. Actually, spotted dolphins are born spotless and gain spots as they age. We have five distinct age classes for these dolphins, something not usually gathered when studying dolphins.

Back to today's sighting/encounter. We were in the water for about an hour with three of the six from this group – 2 females and one male. They were playing with tile and gobi fish and a conch on the sand. They also had a few pieces of seaweed that was passed between dorsal fin, pectoral fins, rostra and flukes. The most amazing thing I saw was the young male swimming just above the sand (in about 18 feet of water) and keeping a small tile fish dribbled between the left and right sides of its right pectoral fin. Since these dolphins were also eating the fish, it gives new meaning to 'playing with your food'!

Our watches were cut short due to a slow-moving squall that was 12 miles by 4 miles and dropped a bit of rain and wind on us. The sunset was vivid with color and bodes well for tomorrow.