In a word … AWESOME!
Here is the summary for this week, Trip #3 for DCP's data collection in our study of the communication and behavior among Atlantic spotted dolphins north of Grand Bahama Island. We had 22 spotted dolphin sightings, 8 bottlenose dolphin sightings and 7 'other' sightings (including a few sharks, the manta ray, boobie bird and a pelican!). The number of dolphins in a group per sighting or encounter ranged from 1 to 39. We had 12 encounters and 14 short encounters (between 30 and 179 seconds long). Encounter lengths ranged from 3 to 37 minutes with a mean of 5 and a median of 8 minutes. We saw about 50 individual spotted dolphins and about 20 individual bottlenose dolphins. The spottted dolphin ID's that we know (before analyzing the photographich data) include: #3 (Topnotch), #4 (Whitespot), #65 (Venus), #39 (Doubledot), #78 (Hook), #12 (Doublegash), #54 (Scratches), #60 (Sadie), and skippy (she has no number yet because it will be given to her this fall). We will have more ID's known and posted after data has been analyzed (this fall). We were in the water with dolphins for more than 95 minutes! This from 57.5 hours of effort which yields a 2.75% return on our effort. An excellent percentage considering the expanse of the area we cover during our observations. Overall we had a great trip and gathered quite a lot of data. We will be busy this fall … and we still have one more trip on which to collect observations. Till next week. Cheers Kathleen