The majority of Friday and Saturday was spent indoors analyzing data and hiding from the sun due to our burns from Thursday’s long boat trip. By Sunday, however, our noses were peeling and we felt less afraid of the sun, which was good since we needed to head back on the water to look for more dolphins!
But first, Sunday morning was spent doing some office work and continuing analysis of video data for social quality. After lunch, we got ready to go out on the water for the afternoon with an international group of guests; most were Swiss, but Austria, Sweden and Norway were also represented. Conversation on the water was quite interesting because many languages were being spoken! When we happened upon a group of bottlenose dolphins however, everyone spoke the same language of excitement and awe. We did not swim with this group of dolphins as they were traveling and would have left us in their wake by the time we got into the water. But after observing the dolphins from the boat and snapping a few surface pictures of their dorsal fins for our ID catalogue, we searched for some dolphins that weren’t on the move. When we reached the new group, there were four dolphins, one of which was a squirmy small calf! The baby was swimming all over; venturing a bit away from its mama, swimming between the port and starboard sides of the boat and riding the bow wake, but it always stopped with its mama between the loops. We a brief underwater observation with this group before they were joined by two new additions, one of which was a calf! Our second encounter was longer than the first one, but still a bit brief. We got back on the boat for one more go, and found the same group, but this time with four new additions to the group, another one being a calf! We got in one more time before we had to go home, and it was awesome! The guests and dolphins seemed excited, especially so with the three super playful and curious calves! It was definitely a different experience, after snorkeling with the bottlenose dolphins, which were mellow in comparison to their spotted dolphin counterparts!
After our dolphin adventure, we headed back home. The sun was quickly setting and we were all the way out on the edge of the continental shelf! We made it back to the dock with smiles on our faces and excited for the next day on the water!
Until next time,
Salma, Nicole & Kel