On Friday the Bimini Adventures student group, Kali & Ellyne were happy to be out on the boat for the fifth day in a row. The sea was aquamarine and it was a clear day with few scattered clouds. The waves were moderately calm and we were searching hard for three and half hours to find dolphins. Though this stretch was dolphin-less, we saw a large-sized turtle near our bow and the turtle dove down! It wasn’t until we were heading back to shore that we saw calves leaping out of the water in front of the bow. The calves leaped many times and slapped their flukes. It produced a wave of excitement in everyone on the boat as we had begun to fear we would not find any dolphins today.
The three calves were very playful in the group of 12 spotted dolphins included Stefran (#82), un-named #75, #99 and #105. Upon entering the water, we also saw un-named #102 engaging in solo play with a piece of sargassum (seaweed), passing it from her own pectoral fins to her fluke. The encounter also included self-rubbing by the dolphins on the sea floor and many contacts between the dolphins as they swam up and down from the sea floor to the surface. It was a great encounter covering many behaviors and the dolphins even approached the hydrophone (an underwater microphone the visiting researchers had in the water) possibly with curiosity. We had a hard time leaving the dolphins as it started to get late. On our way back to land we saw two dolphins leaping in the wake of the boat!
The night was full of music as it was the Independence Day here in The Bahamas. Happy Independence!
All that splashes,
Ellyne, Kali & Kel