Can We Interest You in a Bow Ride?

Wednesday was a day full of bittersweets as we had to say goodbye to our friend and intern Frankie. Frankie and I were able to spend the morning together in our usual roommate routine of making a big pot of coffee and working on photo sorting and blog writing. Then we were invited over to Kel’s house to help celebrate Captain Al’s birthday. We had hamburgers and salads for lunch and then topped it off with a delicious chocolate cake. Kel and I drove Frankie to the ferry so she could get over to the South Bimini Airport for her afternoon flight. We were sad to say goodbye and really enjoyed our time working together these past short weeks, but we had a feeling that we would see each other again one day (perhaps in Bimini?).

After saying goodbye to Frankie, it was time to go home and get ready for the afternoon boat trip. We set out at 3:15 p.m. to look for dolphins again with Dr. M, who is studying the physics of bow riding. It was so exciting to learn more about his project, and we were all just hoping that the dolphins would be fancying a bow ride. It took patience and time, but after two and a half hours we finally saw two spotted dolphins leap out of the water in the distance. We quickly changed course to investigate the splashes further and came across Sulfur (#102) and another young individual. Dr. M quickly got his gear in the water so he could record the dolphins bow riding. The dolphins we chasing fish, but we were hoping they could take a break to catch a ride. Sure enough, Sulfur (#102) and her friend rode the bow and were then accompanied by a third spotted dolphin. The three rode the bow for about 15 minutes and I’m sure the team got some great footage! Then the strangest thing happened. Out of nowhere three bottlenose dolphins came right to the bow for a split second and then were gone, enticing the three spotted dolphins that were originally on the bow with them! I wonder why the three spotted dolphins left with the bottlenose?

After the dolphins swam off it was time to head back to shore. We started our long journey home and in about 20 minutes we had four other spotted dolphins come to ride the bow! I quickly went down to the front of the boat to get a closer look. Down below was Tina (#14) and her calf and Romeo (#10) and her calf having the time of their lives getting pushed by the waves of the boat. Tina and her calf stayed for about 15 minutes and Romeo and her calf stayed for about 30 minutes! It was the longest bow ride I had seen so far; they rode it all the way to where we turn at the sandbar to head into the harbor. They seemed to be having a blast. Soon we were back at the Sea Crest in need of showers and food, and then a much needed lights out after a good day of bow riding.