This morning was our first dolphin observation session – we met the dolphins at Bailey’s Key for the first time. We also learned how to recognize the individual dolphins and spent time snorkeling with the fish and learned how to ID many species of fishes. It was a busy day … and we share our recollections and impressions below.
Camille – I found the fish ID talk very interesting and I’m looking forward to using some of the techniques in observations he talked about to look for different behaviors in the fish when we are snorkeling.
Robert – I was surprised at how unique each dolphin is and at how quickly I was able to start picking individuals out of a group.
Jewel – the biggest takeaway I had today was to not go into anything with expectations but to have an open mind. Particularly with the food but it applies all around.
Mica – Last spring, I spent a week spearfishing lionfish in Belize. So, I found it really interesting how during the fish ID talk, the speaker told us how the animals here have been trained to keep down the lionfish populations.
Mai – this was my first time snorkeling. It was really cool to watch the fish interacting with each other in the reef communities.
Paige – it was wonderful to wake up in the morning and immediately see the dolphins and have a warm greeting to the day and to see how we will be spending each morning this week.
Jessie – I really liked learning about how the Marine Park maintains not only the reef ecosystem but also the community that relies on it.
Alexis – I think it was interesting the more in depth we went to see the coral reef, the more detail you’d actually see on the reef while snorkeling.
Aly – One of the most interesting parts of today was to observe the dolphins – the sounds they make. Very quickly as you listen to the sounds you begin to hear the small differences, although initially they sounded similar. I wondered what the sounds meant and why they were different.
Brooke – During the lecture, I found it really cool how pectoral fin contacts were mainly between unrelated pairs. It made me realize how important social relationships are for these animals, in their everyday life.
Andrea – I was really interested in the different ways the dolphins responded to people, especially in the different locations that the people were. I.e., when we first walked onto the dock by the water taxi they paid attention to us. They ignored us when we ignored them but they seemed to want to play with Kathleen when she was in the water.
Cassie – I had no idea and was really surprised at how many eggs a lionfish could hatch in its lifetime and how invasive they are.
Amindra – I thought it was really interesting how the temperature of the water changed during our snorkel when you were over the sea grass versus the rest of the water.
Catie – it was really interesting learning the different ways each dolphin was identified and learning how to find the marks all over their body and how they get them.
Dallas – today was full of new opportunities and experiences that I’ve never done before – like seeing dolphins and paddle boarding and entering the ocean for the first time. And seeing geckos for the first time! It was really interesting to see the different personalities of the dolphins.
Dr. K. – apparently, we need to be more enthusiastic in the morning … there might have to be some dancing tomorrow morning.
Manon – I was happy to see all our well-known dolphins this morning and look forward to spend more time with them in the next weeks.
Tomorrow begins again with a meeting at the water taxi at 6:15 AM!
DCP & the CSU Rams Abroad 2022 group 1