Kali and Lauren were the intern-duo on Wednesday’s boat trip. It was Kali’s first time getting out and search for the dolphins so she was pretty excited after hearing all about Ellyne’s encounters yesterday. We left the dock around noon with our expectations set high. The waters were clear and bright blue with the sun glimmering off the surface. As we cruised along so did the time with no sightings of dolphins. Around three Kali started to get worried that she wouldn’t get the chance to see anything on her first day out. Ha! Soon she’ll learn to keep the faith…
The dolphins surprised us just a half an hour later. At first it appeared to be only four bottlenose dolphins in front of our boat. Four quickly turned into 10 and then 10 into 20. We were surrounded by Tursiops! From every side of the boat we started seeing dorsal fins emerging out of the water. We clicked away with our surface cameras trying to capture all the fins we were seeing. Once we finally got in the water, our encounter with the bottlenose was just as great. This encounter with the bottlenose was atypical as they stayed around in the same area for almost four hours – and so did we! Multiple dolphins were visibly crater feeding. Others took a break from this behavior to come approach us while we took our pictures. At least six bottlenose dolphins from our catalog were identified including Tt#s 05, 06, 14, 29, 30, and 35 – at that was just at first glance. Ellyne & Kali hope to soon be running backlogged bottlenose images through the DCP DARWIN database.
Sadly today was Lauren’s last day back in the field, as she must return home. Luckily her last day was filled with dolphins stopping to say “goodbye” and wish her a safe trip back. DCP is very grateful for Lauren’s help this year, from data processing to collection to providing orientation to Kali & Ellyne. Thank you!!
After getting a taste of what the dolphin encounters with DCP are like Kali and Ellyne are enthusiastic about their boat trips to come. The night wrapped up with dinner with Kel, who treated us to Edith’s pizza upon her return to the island!
Lauren, Kali, Ellyne & Kel