Travel day

Time in the air versus time in the airports – which is greater in the number of minutes? The day was filled with travel by taxi boat, bus, airplane, shuttle train, and car. It was a mostly uneventful day and we were very glad to get home.

The summary of our trip will be available in the next issue of the Dolphin Gazette (late October/early November).

Last Full Day at AKR and RIMS

Only half of our team remains for data collection and surface observations. The data collection today was much better than yesterday … we could actually see the dolphins under water. They mostly ignored my and the camera, although Gracie has decided that the extra length of ribbing from my weight belt is fun to tug on now and then with a quick swim by underneath me. The first time she did this, I was a tad bit startled, but the 2nd and 3rd times, I figured it was her having fun.

GREAT Visibility under water!

Each session was at least 12 meters visibility with very little particulate matter suspended. There was much social activity in the morning. At first, I thought the dolphins were mostly resting, but then I spied the young males, in the same groupings as yesterday, playing with and rubbing on and rolling over and chasing around each other. They were also vocal as they charged each other.
I also watched as Gracie found a Mangrove seedpod and started tossing it in the air only to retrieve it and repeat.

Some rough play among the youngsters

The young learn proper social rules by playing amongst themselves and adults We saw LOTS of play behavior and some social jockeying by the 6 younger males: Hector, Ritchie, and French in one group and Jack, Ken and Anthony in the second group. For the second group, at least one mom was never too far from the calves’ rolling and rubbing and chasing. Mrs. Beasley kept an eye on French as he played with Hector and Ritchie; she often inserted herself between me and the three of them as they charged forward.

Our Data Collection Volunteers arrive today!

Two morning sessions followed by an assist to Alson (aka Latta) & Ken Most of this season’s volunteer researchers arrived in the afternoon, so I took the morning to get about an hour of data. There was MUCH social activity – especially pectoral fin rubbing between Gracie and Mrs. Beasley and between Paya and Ritchie. This is more evidence that dolphins will select their rubbing partners – both among the wild dolphins and those in human care. I was able to record a few lengthy sequences of this pectoral fin rubbing. Very neat.

Hugs & Smiles Abound

Checking in with Eldon, Teri, Julio, Samir et al., as well as the dolphins Morning came early but it was welcome with the sound of the calm ocean as background. I looked for and chatted with Don Julio, Samir and Julio Galindo. Then, we found Eldon and Teri to say hi and confirm a research schedule. Then, we got to join Teri out at Bailey’s Key to say hello to the dolphins. Actually, both John and I got a chance to help feed the dolphins.

The joys of travel in the times we are living.

It took longer to check bags than to go through security! The day was quite long but mostly uneventful. We had three flights and four stops with a long layover in Miami. The longest part to the whole day, or so it seemed, was checking in to begin our journey.
But, we arrived on time to Roatan and all our bags arrived with us … always a treat.
It was very nice to be on Roatan and to arrive to Anthony’s Key Resort and RIMS.

Prepping gear and packing for Roatan

Travel for the 2006 RIMS season begins after my KOL live chat It seems that this year, as we prepare for fieldwork, John and I have saved all the packing for the last minute. But, we actually finished stuffing all our camera housings, cameras and other gear into the two large cases and one soft bag before 3 pm! And, soon thereafter, all our carry on knapsacks (2) and briefcases (2) were also set. Even Umi had her “bags” packed and ready for her stay at my folks’ home.