Friday was an eventful day for DCP! The day began with a beach cleanup on North Bimini sponsored by DCP Conservation Member Chris Ribic. We collected over 11 bags of trash in less than 1 hour! These clean ups at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site allow us to give back to the community that not only welcomes us as individuals, but has been kindly welcoming DCP over the past decade. And of course we are very pleased to get some trash off the coastline and hopefully prevent it from ending up in the sea. Thank you Chris! After our clean up the interns continued working on some pec fin event sampling and bottlenose cataloging during the early afternoon.
The day continued on a bouncy DCP member-funded dolphin trip that left the dock around 15:39. Not only was this a dolphin trip, but it also allowed us a chance to deploy our passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) unit. This unit, the Song Meter SM2M Marine Recorder is on loan from Wildlife Acoustics. Talk about a win-win: we get to record dolphin vocalizations and they get their newest unit beta tested! We chose a location where we have had good dolphin sighting success in the past 4 weeks and hope to get lots of acoustic recordings from the dolphins! After our deployment we headed back toward Bimini due to the time and the choppy ocean, but still in search of dolphins. At 19:12 we saw a group of at least 5 bottlenose. Kel stayed on the boat to take surface photos while all three of the interns hopped in for some underwater shots. It was Sabena’s first dolphin trip and we got a five minute swim with the group but couldn’t stay with them because of the strong current. We got back in the boat and kept our eye out knowing they didn’t go far. We caught up with them again and the interns hopped in one last time before the sun went down too far. This time we had at least 8 bottlenose and saw a nurse shark at the bottom! This was Brittany’s last day at the field site here in Bimini and her last dolphin trip! Thank you dolphins for a good farewell!
Until next time,
Alexis, Brittany, Sabena & Kel