Tuesday was an excellent day on the boat for interns Ellyne and Lauren. We started before noon and found 10 spotted dolphins an hour later. The group included Lil Jess (#35, pictured here) with a calf and Leslie (#80) who was, somewhat surprisingly, still hanging out with her older calf, unnamed (#99). We had thought that #99 was independent from mom this year, but perhaps they are still transitioning. Or, could they be the first known pair to have an observed relationship after independence? It’s certainly too early to tell, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for their interactions throughout the season. Tina (#14) may have also been in the group; we’ll see what future photo sorting yields. There were 4 calves that were playing and coming close to the boat. The calves were swimming fast and bow riding as well as leaping and displayed some fluke slaps. We were able to have 2 encounters with this group and luckily we were able to follow them the entire day until 19:32.
Towards the end of the day 2 bottlenose dolphins, including unnamed Tt#35, joined the 6 remaining spotted dolphins. Their interactions were very busy and there were definitely “mating” attempts! This was a fascinating observation for us and we had an encounter to see them underwater. It is not common to have two mixed species groups to days in a row! It was a long day on the boat but we’re so happy to have 3 encounters and spend our entire day with the dolphins. A big thank you goes to Bimini Adventures and their private charter customer this week for welcoming us aboard. Kali was at the shore working hard on data but is excited to join the boat trip tomorrow! Fingers crossed for more great sightings!
And all that splashes,
Ellyne, Lauren and Kali