Thursday was an educational day for the Bimini Adventures group. Kel, Kali, and Ellyne led a discussion about dolphins and the research conducted in Bimini. We gave a brief introduction to ourselves and DCP’s research off Bimini, but the majority of the time was spent answering questions that the guests had for us. One person asked if spotted dolphins keep their spots or if individual spots can change over time (A: As a spot first develops, it may grow bigger, but after it is established it will remain forever. Of course, it might get covered by new spots through the years!) Another guest asked how long spotted dolphins live (A: This is a tough question because we don’t have an exact answer…yet. No one has studied enough spotted dolphins long enough to see how long they live. But, it is likely near 35 years…DCP will have to keep working off Bimini to get an answer for this group!). We are very grateful to the group for inviting DCP to chat with them; and we thank them for their donations and dolphin adoptions too!
Later in the afternoon, Kali & Ellyne joined a quiet but serene day out on the boat. The waters were relatively calm and there was a light breeze throughout the day. On our way out of the harbor our Captain Al spotted a bull shark passing by the boat. The shark must have been at least eight feet long! As we moved off the coast we kept our eyes open and tried to stay alert on the lookout for dolphins. Around four or so we still hadn’t seen anything. Heads were starting to droop and yawns were seen around the boat. We took a quick swim break to cool off and rejuvenate our energy. About an hour later we finally started to see some dolphins.
At first there was a pair of calves swimming along, playing by the bow of the boat. Eventually some older spotted dolphins appeared as well. For the third day in a row we sighted un-named #102, pictured here. She is easily identified by her dorsal fin, which has two side-by-side notches in the middle; she also has a single notch in her peduncle. Stefran (#82) was also sighted from the boat. We attempted to get in and swim with the dolphins but unfortunately they didn’t stay for long. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll run into a group who is a bit more interested in sticking around. Still, it has been wonderful to see so many dolphins each day this week!
Kali, Ellyne & Kel