Sunday – first day of data collection and dolphin learning!

The day started early with nice sunny weather and calm conditions to start. We had our introduction to dolphin observations at Bailey’s Key. The dolphins were active! Our observations were a bit confusing at first because we were not really sure what we should record. And, there was an identification barrier – we did not yet know which dolphins were who!
After returning from Bailey’s we had a hearty breakfast and then got introduced to DCP and their research and education programs. We also got to see the MVA and then to swim with it. Sporadic rain showers visited us late in the morning, just as we were about to snorkel with the MVA – to see what it’s like to try to record dolphin behavior underwater. It was only drizzling when we got in the water. It was difficult and awkward to swim with the MVA for some but easier for others of us. It was positively buoyant so swimming underwater was not easy!
Our afternoon was spent reviewing the morning video data collected as well as learning details about dolphin IDs and sketching the dolphins while chatting about why confirming individual IDs is important (for a variety of reasons).
We had a bit of free time to keep up with our reading and also do some paddle boarding! Kiran also picked up three pieces of trash … woohoo! Tonight also had us attending a fish ID talk. We were pleased to have the talk tonight before we go snorkeling so we know what to look out for underwater. Jennifer would like to see parrotfish while Juliette wants to see a smooth trunkfish and Annie wants to see some blue tangs.
We coordinated in competition for the Roatan Marine Park tags versus bracelets – they are a green color for 2019. We are well past Roatan midnight and will be starting early (6:15 AM!) again tomorrow!
Until then,
The URI Rams!