… and the 2001 Field Season.
We had a good night and a sky filled with stars. The swell was not great (compared with farther north) and made for easy sleeping. Everyone took a morning snorkel and looked for conch, lobster (season opened 1 August) and anything else living among the grass. Watches continued, of course, with swims rotating around watch times. We hauled anchor at about 10 AM and headed north to search for dolphins. We had a mother/calf pair of bottlenose dolphins come to the bow briefly. I wonder if the mom was showing her calf how to catch a ride and have a bit of fun. We saw another 6 bottlenose dolphins on our trek south a couple of hours later, but no more spotted dolphins. We will have to content ourselves with our slides and video data till next season. I did want to add one observation from our long morning encounter a couple days ago. I saw a young subadult male (maybe #98) rough-housing with a male calf. The male calf swam with #108 frequently and nursed from her. I believe he was #108's calf. Between bouts of jawing and rubbing melons and direct approaches with the calf, the subadult male would approach and rub pec fins with #108. Could he be communicating to her that he was just playing? Or was he re-affirming that he was just having fun? Or, along a different line of thought, could he have been showing her that he would make a 'good dad' to her next calf? That is, was he indirectly saying 'mate with me and your next calf will be strong and playful too'? Who knows, but it was fun to watch and surmise. Cheers Kathleen