Hungy bottlenose, threatening squalls and playful spotteds

Though I hope to be on a few day trips later this month, Monday was my last scheduled dolphin trip of 2016. And, it was a great one! We departed shortly after 1500 and with a tip from another operator, we spent extra time searching an area right at the edge of the shallow and deep waters. At 1619 we were rewarded with bottlenose dolphins! We observed them from the surface for nearly 20 minutes (and saw a group of spotted dolphins nearby!). Confident the group of at least six dolphins was in fact crater feeding, I continued to collect dorsal fin photographs while the guests entered the water. After two more rounds of photos, I too entered the water, eager to record the feeding behaviors. I completed one focal follow – of a mother/calf pair – when I heard the crew calling us back. A squall was threatening and we needed to be safely aboard the boat. Once on the boat it was so obvious how much the wind had picked up; when we started the swim, the ocean was calm and smooth, now there were white caps everywhere!

We stayed in the general area while we waited to see what the weather was going to do. Luckily, the squall fell apart and we were able to continue our search. Soon we were with at least 11 Atlantic spotted dolphins! Two of the juveniles were also observed on Sunday; it is always nice to see dolphins two days in a row. We all got in the water and were not disappointed! The dolphins cruised past everyone in the group and put on a nice show for those who stayed on the boat. And though it may be hard to believe, I’m actually interested in the dolphins ignoring me and letting me film them interacting with each other. Today was not one of those days! Two youngsters in particular seemed most interested in seeing how well I could keep up with their circles (or, were they trying to get me dizzy?!). I have to admit, it was pretty fun and of course, we can still get useful information from the video data.

Tuesday was a day off for me and then Wednesday I had the pleasure of holding my formal-casual weekly DCP talk with the guests. Conversation never stalled! Thank you to everyone for your wonderful questions, insights and for your support of DCP.

The Bimini Adventures guests have three more trips ahead of them – good luck!

Until next time,