The weather was even better for Friday’s dolphin trip, indicating to us that summer really is around the corner. We departed at approximately 1430 and we were ready. We weren’t thrilled with the murky water, but we found no reason to complain as we were soon observing a group of over 20 Atlantic spotted dolphins! From the surface it looked like a mating group, with adults clustered together and very active at the surface and youngsters zipping back and forth between the group and the boat. As we geared up to get in the water, we suddenly saw ‘offshore’ (or ‘oceanic’) bottlenose dolphins. Let me repeat: offshore bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotteds. That. Has. Never. Happened. Before. Well, of course I can’t say it has never happened; but we have never seen it! It was amazing. There was only a little interaction between the species, but those offshores are impressive! Here, you can see one spy-hopping at the bow of the boat!
The boat guests had three water entries and the MVA had two. One encounter was over 15 minutes and full of moms, calves and juveniles who were very active and very interested in us. We saw Swoosh (#36) from the boat and then under water we Addie (#84) and……
Lil’ Jess (#35) and Leslie (#80) look like new moms!! With calves close by their sides and swollen mammaries (in Leslie’s case, very swollen), I’d say they are moms. But, Leslie did not come super close to the camera, so I need to confirm that ID before we get too excited.
As if that all wasn’t enough, we saw a small group of bottlenose dolphins on the way home. They were not interested in us, but after seeing the offshore bottlenose, it was nice to see the coastal ecotype in the same day.
Another trip tomorrow!