A fitting goodbye!

Saturday’s boat trip with Bimini Adventures was the last boat trip for Alexis before she leaves on Monday. We set off around 14:00 to make sure we could get our snorkel swim in and yet again, it seemed as though the dolphins had other plans for us. Like yesterday, in route to the snorkel stop (this time along the beaches of South Bimini) we ran into a widely dispersed group of 10-15 bottlenose. Alexis recognized a few fins matching the group we had seen the previous day. We hung around these guys for roughly 15 minutes (while Alexis took surface photos of their dorsal fins), but we did not jump in with them as we were in a high traffic area for boaters, since it was Saturday! Nonetheless, after everyone felt they got their fill we continued to our snorkel stop. The group enjoyed a leisurely swim and saw some really exciting fish and coral, as well as a sting ray and a barracuda! We all re-boarded the boat and headed in pursuit of more dolphins!  We had our next sighting just over an hour later. We spotted a group of 16 spotted dolphins, including many young individuals Alexis quickly recognized unnamed #102 in the bunch. We decided to try a swim and once in the water we also saw unnamed #70 among the group. We ended up having 6 separate encounters with this group and as time went on more and more dolphins showed up. Toward the end we had 25-30 spotteds and then were joined by two large bottlenose dolphins! Among the spotteds, unnamed #99, Prince William (#64), Tim (#69), Tina (#14), Leslie (#80) and an individual we fondly call Speedy’s-look-a-like (as this animal has yet to be given a number in the catalog) were all seen. During these encounters we observed large social groups, jawing, squawks, and chasing. It was an exciting group to be with and one that originally started mostly with calves and juveniles and ended mostly with adults, though a few youngsters stuck around! After almost 2 hours with this group we decided we needed to head back towards home. Everyone climbed back into the boat and settled up for the journey home. Once close to the shoreline we saw a pair of bottlenose traveling northeast. A few moments later we saw another group of about 10 individuals, but separated into 2 sub-groups also heading in that same direction. It was a nice treat to have additional sightings on our way back home!
All in all today was a great day full of snorkeling, bottlenose, and spotteds! It was a proper send off from the dolphins and Alexis couldn’t have been happier!!!
So long,
Alexis & Kel