We had our third day of strong winds and choppy seas. The ferry boat ride from Paradise Island to Blue Lagoon Island was spray filled from the sea and the last bit of the trek was choppy as we passed through the cut. Our first view into the pools showed a much decreased underwater visibility. Thus, we did not get wet today. Instead, we reviewed some computer files for grant applications and for papers.
On Saturday evening we enjoyed a great meal with Nassau/Dolphin Encounters friends and after getting home, we promptly reset our clocks so as not to miss the early morning ferry. Once arriving at DE on Sunday morning, we had a 20 minute session with “the ladies”: Princess, Laguna, Gussie Mae, Nina & calf and Chippy & calf. Unfortunately, the underwater visibility was not very good, making video collection a challenge. We did get some good passes from all seven dolphins.
The wind howled last night and brought a morning with extremely limited underwater visibility. It would be difficult to collect underwater video with behavioral information when you could not actually see the dolphins at more than 3 ft away. So, we reviewed some data and some results and took a short walk around the island.On our walk, we saw the rebounding mangroves planted and also an unidentified species (we focus on the mammals and are less skilled identifying bird species) of heron nesting in one secluded area of mangroves.
On Thursday evening Kelly joined me in Nassau and we were all up bright and early on Friday for the first ferry to Blue Lagoon Island. Once Kel was reintroduced to folks and shown the numerous improvements to the facility, it was time to get to work. The first session was with Jake, Shawn and Goombay. The session was slightly delayed as staff donned SCUBA gear to collect the wayward sea turtle, “Lucky” who has taken up residency at DE, but somehow found her way into the dolphin’s enclosure.
I was in the water twice today! Both sessions were again with Stormy, Miss Merlin, Soca, Aunty V and Dot. The afternoon also had Abaco with these four dolphins. The morning brought great underwater visibility and social dolphins. The afternoon session provided more! Ultrasound examination done in the morning revealed that Abaco is cycling and Stormy took notice! He was very attentive and also in a very amorous mood. Soca was also very tactile to Abaco and was rubbing her melon against Abaco’s side and belly.
The morning brought me a single session of about 30 minutes with Soca, Aunty V, Dot, Miss Merlin and Stormy. They were very interactive with one another and quite vocal – I recorded several whistles and clicks — the latter mostly directed at me it seemed!
It was one of the longer sessions and the underwater visibility was quite good at about 4 meters with minimal silt.
My afternoon was spent visiting a colleague at the College of the Bahamas, Radhika Makecha. I gave a lecture on dolphin communication and cognition to her introductory psychology class.
Monday was our day of travel to get from Connecticut to The Bahamas.