Safe and Sound

    Hurricane Frances was the SLOWEST storm either us have ever been through. We began to feel its effects on Friday and it wasn’t gone until Sunday. We lost our phone first, early in the afternoon on Friday. During the night, we lost electricity and running water. Running water was restored after about 30 hours, electricity after 36 and the phone after about 6 days.

Ever been swimming in mangroves?

Well, today the forecast looks like Hurricane Frances will definitely be quite close to the island. So, it was back to South Bimini’s secluded mangroves to be sure the boats were tied down securely. The ropes extend from the boat and must be secured around the thickest trunk possible.

A Lady Named Frances…

It’s a good thing there are no dolphin trips scheduled for the weekend, because, well, they’d be cancelled anyway. The island is currently keeping all eyes on Hurricane Frances. We are not sure who invited her for Labor Day weekend, but we hope she decides not to come! However, just to be safe, we spent the day helping Bimini Undersea and ourselves get ready. This involved cleaning the boats, safely storing boat and scuba gear and bagging all merchandise in the dive shop.

Dolphins Do Exist

Today’s trip included a group of 14 plus dolphins. About eight of these really stuck around the boat, but they were consistently on the move, so we were unable to get any underwater footage—at the beginning. We did recognize #5, #15, #17 and possibly #16.

No Dolphins!

Today’s trip included a very, very flat Beaufort 2 sea state. This normally makes it very easy to sight dolphins, but, sadly, there were no dolphins today! Kathy stayed behind today to greet her parents who will be visiting for the weekend!! We are very excited to have them here on Bimini and they will be joining us on tomorrow’s dolphin trip.

Back in the ‘dolphin grounds.’

Most of today’s group will be on the boat tomorrow and Saturday as well. It was our 36th trip of this season and we saw spotted dolphin groups three times today. Our first sighting was of 2 spotteds and also resulted in a ten minute encounter. We didn’t know any of the individuals, but we may be able to make some IDs once we go over the video. Later in the day, we saw a group of 7 spotted dolphins who appeared to be mating, but we were unable to get in the water.

A Break from Dolphins…

  This weekend was spent completely off the boat, but it gave us time to do some other things. We had our usual Saturday and Sunday phone calls to the aquarium—all of which went very well. We also did today’s phone call (Monday) in a swap with Kathleen.
    Then there have been video logs and IDs. We’ve also been helping with a display in Bimini Undersea’s dive shop.

OLD dolphins!

   On Wednesday, we saw large splashes in the distance and upon investigation, we found a group of approximately 15 spotted dolphins. This group included 2 young dolphins (one unID C2 and #78) and the rest were adults (incl. #4 and possibly #11). Once in the water, Kelly saw that one of the adults had to have been the oldest dolphin she’d ever seen! It had so many spots on it, it was a little overwhelming.

Chatty Calf!

This afternoon’s presentation went very well- again we have a group of passengers that is very interesting in learning all they can about the dolphins they are swimming with.
We found dolphins today at 19:00 and it was a group of younger spotted dolphins, one of which had a large scar on its peduncle, most likely from a shark attack. We had not yet seen this dolphin. There was also a class 3 who we have not yet been able to identify. The calf in the group stayed for a bit, never stopping its vocalizations.

It’s a Girl!

 We were of course sad to see Justin off this morning, but the staff and locals here can now return to calling us the “dolphin girls.” We are also ecstatic to announce that the calf seen last week is in fact White Blotch’s (#29) and is a girl! We were again lucky enough to get some close looks at the little one and we estimate that she is 3 weeks to a month old. It has been so incredible to see such a young dolphin.