Worth the wait

Wednesday’s trip was not only Lauren’s last trip for the year but we also had Kel on board so we were hoping for a day full of dolphins! We were off to a good start seeing at least 3 spotted eagle rays as we were leaving the channel between North and South Bimini. A bit over an hour later we then had a turtle sighting, as it just cruised past our boat. But when almost 3 full hours had passed and we hadn’t seen a single dolphin yet, some folks were starting to get a bit bummed out. Finally though (patience in this kind of work is key) we saw a big splash and headed in that direction. As we got closer glimmering dorsal fins began to appear and everyone’s spirits lifted. We approached a group of 3 dolphins, including 2 male calves, one of which was very tiny and an adult female, Juliette (#12)! Kel and Lauren geared up with some of the Hunter College students to hop in the water for an encounter while Alexis stayed on the bow to help keep track of the animals. Juliette seemed to “let” the two youngsters push her to the sea floor with their rostrums, before a bout of socio-sexual interactions. As the encounter progressed all of a sudden Tina (#14, pictured here) appeared in the group. It seemed we had two mother/calf pairs and from the boat, Alexis observed the energetic calves bow riding and tail slapping. Lauren and Kel had an awesome encounter and were able to record (through underwater video and stills) some really fun and interesting behaviors, including possible nursing by one calf from Tina. Eventually we left the group, but we were all happy Lauren had a good farewell from the dolphins! As we were heading home we saw a few dolphins leaping out of the water in the distance. As it was getting late, we continued on home with high spirits and happy hearts!
Catch you later,
Lauren, Alexis & Kel