Our day began with a show from both the sun and the moon! And that meant no rain! And, the underwater visibility was superb! All these factors, plus socializing dolphins, led to a 50-minute early morning data collection session! There were lots of tail slaps (regular and belly up positions!) and several fast swims and chases observed at the surface. Champ was hanging out with French except when he and Lenca zoomed in front of the MVA! Ronnie and Stan were slow swimming and socializing for the last 10-15 minutes of the session. And, we saw Gracie, Maury and Bailey pair swimming slowly together.
After a quick breakfast, we grabbed all of our gear and retuned to Bailey’s Key. After some programs with guests were complete, we did a second MVA session in the late morning. French, Champ, Lenca, Ronnie, and Ritchie were not in the main lagoon area as they were rotating going out for walks. So, our second MVA session was with the adult females and younger dolphins. It was more quiet and the dolphins were more into their own thing than socializing for the camera. The underwater visibility was a bit silty but still good.
After lunch, Nicole had her encounter with Elli and then her swim with the pod. Stan was Nicole’s buddy … and they played the seaweed game. Nicole was the rubber and Stan the rubbee … and they played and had fun! Nicole says she tried to make sure Stan had fun so he’d stick around … he did! Nicole also saw most of the other dolphins and got a treat when she saw Sandy nursing from Tilly as they swam away.
While Nicole was enjoying her encounter, Kathleen was collaborating with Teri to collect create data with Maury, Gracie, and Calli. And, a big thank you to Meredith for recording the top-side video while Kathleen recorded both in-water surface and underwater views. It was fun to see these three female dolphins having fun being creative!
We had a very busy day! And, the data are almost done being transferred so we will be ready for tomorrow! Tonight is the island fiesta and we are going to enjoy the cookout!
Kathleen & Nicole