We had a very full Wednesday! We visited the Shark Lab and the Nature Trail on South Bimini in the morning and then went dolphin-researching/searching in the afternoon.
Liam: Today we saw bottlenose dolphins instead of spotted dolphins and we got to go swimming with them. One had a baby with her and another one had no right pec fin and looked like Nemo, the spotted dolphin. Ben: It was pretty amazing swimming with animals that were bigger than us and being that close to them. Bill: When I first got in the water there were 2 large bottlenose dolphins and they both looked at me and clicked and then swam off. Sam: Today we went to the Shark Lab and saw an juvenile lemon shark and we all got to touch it. It felt rough at a part and then smooth going the other way. Stephanie: We went on a nature trail walk and they had a Bimini Boa and it was really cute. It was a female and reminded me of my snakes at home. Becca: We swam with bottlenose dolphins and one of them swam close to me and one swam below me near the bottom. It was crater feeding. Emily: We went to the Shark Lab and I learned how to tell the difference between female and male lemon sharks. And also when we swam with the bottlenose dolphins and one of them came close to me and was really big. E: This morning we got to see some sharks at the Shark Lab. I think they are pretty cool and cute. In the late morning, we got to see a whole lot of spiders on the nature trail and some anoles doing push-ups with their dewlap extended. At the end of the day we got to see some bottlenose dolphins but they seemed more interested in finding food. Porter: I thought it was really neat that we found bottlenose dolphins instead of spotted dolphins and I was really surprised by how close they came by us. Jack: At the Shark Lab we got to feel a lemon juvenile shark and it felt like sand paper. On the ferry back to North Bimini there were three police men and two had big shotguns. (They were armored vehicle guards visiting the bank.) Athan: Today we swam with bottlenose dolphins and watched them crater feeding. And at the end of the day for dessert, we got candy! Gabrielle: When we got into the water with the dolphins you could hear them echolocating – it was very cool. Sarah: I loved spending half the morning on the nature trail and seeing spiders including the banana spider. Alexis: It was really nice to get back in the water with the Bimini dolphins. And, it was pretty cool to see the “nemo-looking” bottlenose because I did not see that one last year. Gary: I thought that swimming with dolphins the second time was not going to be as exciting as the first time, but I was very wrong. I thought dolphin calves would stay with their moms and then I saw one darting off by itself. And, I learned that both male sharks and male snakes have grasper claspers. John: It was a good overall day – a good cross-section of Bimini.
The group of dolphins we swam with was 5 or 6 bottlenose dolphins. Several adults, a calf and a few juveniles were all crater feeding. All DRTs entered to swim and get their first taste of data collection. They did well remembering the marks and nicks and cuts on the individual dolphins. Our last dolphin trip is tomorrow afternoon but before that we have a beach cleanup program in the morning.
Kel, Kathleen & the DRTs