It might have been raining topside, but the underwater visibility was great! And, the dolphins were playful! While it’s true that Lenca, Stan, Tank, and Champ thought my fins were their long-lost toys, the dolphins also had fun playing with the seaweed and sea grasses. The current was still there and moving the flora along at a swift pace. Calli, Lenca, and Bailey each tried to entice me to play seaweed fetch, or maybe toss, with them! It was hard to decline, but I did until just before I got out and the MVA was on the platform. Then, we shared a toss or two.
Ronnie and Ritchie still have their sights set on Gracie, who made a few slow passes by me in the deeper water. Bailey seemed to toggle between her son, Tank, who was very interested in my fins, and Rona with Alita nearby. French and Champ spent much time together with a few chases and several passes by me.
My second session of the morning was about 1.5 hours after the first one and the weather was much the same, with the exception that it was a downpour! Thankfully, Ron had his rain poncho and was able to continue with surface observations. The underwater visibility was less than earlier and the top foot was blurry from the rain. Still, it was a second good session with much social behavior observed and recorded!
Ron did a dive this afternoon while I logged the footage from the morning and began sketching the dolphin ID sheets for this session. The dive was nice (Melissa’s Reef) despite being a bit surge-y depending on the depth over the reef. And, Ron was glad to get back in the water, since his last dive was January 2020 – pre-COVID 19!
The rain lessened by late afternoon and we have high hopes for a drier day (at least morning?) tomorrow. Data collection will begin at 7:30 AM, as it did today … and maybe we’ll have good visibility and a slackened current. (fingers crossed!)
Kathleen & Ron