Interns’ First Boat Trip and Experience with Island Time!

Hi! We’re DCP’s 2012 Bimini Summer Interns! Liana is from the D.C. area (Northern Virginia) and will be a junior at Yale studying Environmental Studies and concentrating in marine science. Pam is from Guilford, CT and will be a senior at Connecticut College studying biology and psychology. We’re looking forward to working in the field after a great experience in the DCP office in Stonington!

We stepped off our plane at South Bimini Airport and were greeted by hot sun and plenty of humidity. We cleared customs easily after only a few minor questions, then piled into the van to the water taxi that took us to North Bimini. We made it through some major puddles in the road leftover from abnormally high rain earlier that morning, and finally arrived with dry luggage. Kel had a last minute boat trip, so we got settled in and then explored Bimini on our bikes before meeting Kel later that evening. After an exhausting day of travel, we turned in early and got ready for our first full day of work.

The next morning, Kel briefed us on all our DCP duties and what to expect on our first boat trip, which would potentially be later that day. We got started on some of the office work and waited by the phone to hear whether we would be going out with Bimini Undersea. We got a last minute phone call confirming the 12-person trip and telling us to be at the dock in 10 minutes (at 14:15). We rushed to put all of our stuff together and made it to the dock just in time. Then we had our first experience with “island time” — it was another half hour until we were picked up. But better to be early than make other people wait for us! It also gave us plenty of time for sunscreen application 🙂

We set out with high hopes and searched for any sign of dolphins. It was a clear, beautiful day with little cloud cover and the water made it easy to see far out. We were starting to lose hope, when at 17:17 we spotted a group of 3 bottlenose dolphins in front of the boat. They approached the boat, but didn’t hang around long enough for us to observe them in the water. Regardless, it was still so exciting to see our first dolphins! We didn’t see any other dolphins for the rest of the trip, but we stopped and snorkeled at the ” Atlantis,” and got to see a wide variety of colorful fish, seafans, and other marine life. We also saw some flying fish while on the boat. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a closer view of some dolphins on our next trip, but overall not a bad first day!

Until next time,
Liana, Pam & Kel