Our morning was photo-ID filled! We had a ton of pictures to work through and by lunch we were able to confirm 7 individuals. Split Jaw (#22), White Blotch (#29), Niecey (#48), Billy (#64), Leslie (#80) and un-named #78 and 84. Niecey was ID’s once we looked at the underwater video data, a twist since we normally start with still photos. We were also able to add another animal to the catalog! That’s two in one week! DCP ID#92 now belongs to an older calf with a serious shark bite scar on and around both sides of the dorsal fin. She made sure that we saw her up close and personal – she was very inquisitive. The scar seemed relatively well healed and she appears to be doing just fine.
We left the dock at 15:25, after Kel had a meeting with some tourists off-site (it was great talking with you!). This was the last dolphin survey for our group and we were greeted by very calm seas and hot, hot sun. We first saw the dolphins from quite a distance as they leapt from the water in pursuit of fish. We’ve seen lots of foraging behavior this week, but today was the closest we got to the action. All of the dolphins were chasing the needlefish and ballywho and some even tossed them. In the boat, we ID’d Swoosh (#36), Leslie (#80), Tilly (#87) – and a male calf. Kel thinks (and hopes) this male calf is Swoosh’s, who was first seen last year. We also saw two bottlenose dolphins interacting with this spotted group, one of which was an older female. Later in the day we saw Split Jaw (#22), Nemo (#76) and un-named #43 and 84.
We had another dockside BBQ, “taking” the picnic tables from the visiting fishermen. We’ll continue to review photos and video during our last two days on Bimini. And, we’ll make time for some sharks…
The SHU Crew