Meeting the Dolphins and Collecting Data

This morning was the UofB’s group’s first data collection session at Bailey’s Key. We had a long day today and so Manon and I are writing this night’s blog post. The dolphins were VERY social and the visibility was really good. Sandy and Champ spent quite a bit of time circling Kathleen and checking out her fins. And, French joined Kathleen after the session for a rubdown. Ronnie spent some time with Annalisa, Szonya, and Alessandro trying to get them to play with sea grass. The cover photo shows Bailey trying to get Manon to play with sea grass!

After the data collection, we had a delicious breakfast and then spent a bit of time with Kathleen on the porch between Szonya, Laura, Marica, and Shannon’s rooms to learn about the MVA and the data collection procedures. We met the RIMS interns too. Thank you, Annalisa, for the photo of our attention directed at Kathleen.

A late morning snorkel by Bailey’s Key presented several small fish, at least three lobsters and several spiny urchins. The water was warm and a welcome respite from the hot air. Everyone is strong in the water and had a good time.

Lunch provided a mid-day break followed by some space use data collection during an encounter. We learned how to apply the grid to place Kathleen in the main lagoon, and also the dolphins. After these data collection, we spent time observing a few of the dolphins from closer in the back area … we met Stan, Lenca, Champ, French, Gracie, Bailey and Tank and saw their rakes and other scars up close. It was a great day!

We wrapped up the evening with a fish ID talk in the RIMS classroom, dinner and then watching the video from this morning when Kathleen was collecting data.

We are ready to go a bit early tomorrow and will be meeting at 6 AM to start our day.


Kathleen, Manon and the UofB group

P.S. Manon and Kathleen are sharing a room with a couple of bats … the bats are outside. Manon was able to photograph one of them this morning.