On Wednesday, we learned that we would not be able to go on our first boat trip because of wind. This was disappointing, but heck, we’re still in The Bahamas! In the morning, we discussed ecotourism; we probably could have talked about this all day! But, we know we’ll be experiencing the Bimini environment first hand, and reading about ecotourism, so we know we’ll have a larger discussion next week. We had a talk from Kel on photo-ID; learning how to tell individuals apart and the importance of this, the pros and cons for naming vs numbering your study species and were introduced to some of Bimini’s resident spotted dolphins. We saw the cameras that we’ll be able to use during our program and discussed pointers on how to take photographs that are useful for photo-ID. We saw examples of the types of injuries we might see on dolphins here, and how we can use those scars to recognize individuals.
After lunch, we explored the local shops and then ventured to the Bimini Museum. It was definitely a culture day! The grocery stores are different and we got to know some of the women who have stalls at the local straw (craft) market. At the museum, we had a fact scavenger hunt and Team 2 (Alex, Kaiya, Christian) came away with the win! With DCP dolphin trading cards as the prize, everyone is buzzing about collecting them all.
Next it was snorkel time at the beach. The big find was an octopus hiding in the rocks! We still aren’t sure if it is a reef or common octopus, but hopefully Captain Al will help us. We saw a blue tang and sergeant majors and some of us saw….drum roll please…dolphins traveling along the shoreline!!
Back in class, we had our first round of photo-ID practice matching and it was fun! Some dolphins are quite easy while others are definitely a challenge. We had a laid back evening, eating dinner and then catching up on reading.