The underwater visibility was superb! I had my last data collection session this morning and the dolphins were quiet and not as social as usual, until I exited the water, or so it seemed! Hector, Ritchie and French showed way too much interest in my fins and seemed to be taking notes on my behavior rather than ignoring me. I watched from the surface and almost all the dolphins rolled and splashed at the surface. Several individuals, Anthony and Fiona specifically, were breaching and side-slapping too.
Two sessions of data with a bit of rain and cloudy skies but the dolphins, though rather quiet, were socializing. Dixon and Anthony, the two youngest males, were hanging out together most of the first session. French and Ken, the next two youngest males, were also together most of this session and were often rubbing one another or jawing at each other. Reminded me of when my sisters and I would wrestle when younger.
French also spent a bit of time with Hector and Ritchie.
Another silent morning greeted me as I slipped into the water from the blue platform. The underwater visibility was good … but the dolphins were moving slowly and in the shallow area. As I meandered my way over, Maury and Fiona swam swiftly by me. Then, like a squadron, several of the males zoomed into view. They flanked me and I swiveled to keep them in view. This “dance” lasted for a few minutes until the tables were turned and the males – Paya, Ritchie, Hector, French, Ken and Anthony – flocked all around me.
The DCP 2009 RIMS eco-tour came to a close yesterday when our volunteer team departed Roatan. With their assistance, we collected six hours of video with stereo audio data of the dolphins here. Neat stuff. A bit thank you to Barclay, Cindy, Gail and Mike for your hard work and help! I spent yesterday afternoon and early evening sleeping – it was my turn with the 24 hr sinus bug that everyone else seemed to have lately.
I was in the water by 06:20 this morning and had visibility that improved (because of better sunlight angles) as my session progressed. Almost immediately from when I got in, I had dolphins in view and they were there for most of the 58 min session. The neatest observation was Ronnie and Fiona playing and rubbing each other and then Bill joining them. Bill and Ronnie have been a bit ornery with one another lately and Ronnie was not pleased that Bill was honing in on him and Fiona.
Our team woke early so I could enter the water before 6:30 AM today. We had good light levels and little wind. The water was not as clear as yesterday but the action was just as good. French and Ken decided early on this morning that I made a grand toy – for about 5 minutes. They poked at the hydrophones with their rostrums (beaks). They poked at me with their rostrums, flippers and bodies. It was very hard not to react … but I did not react …
Today’s underwater visibility was spectacular! It was 7 or 8 m plus and clear. And, the dolphins were in a feisty mood – or at least several of them were. I watched Mrs. Beasley and Cedeña exchange pec fin rubs with Mrs. B rolling around Ced’s fin. They seemed spunky and moved well for two females very pregnant.
At one point, Bailey seemed to be a bit pushy around Bill and Ronnie after which Bill jaw clapped at Bailey. She swiftly swam away and about 3 minutes later I saw her with her mom, Cedeña.
This morning was another early data collection session. I was in the water by 6:45 am and my team was in place. The sun was shining and the underwater visibility was about 5 m and clear. Very good conditions. The dolphins greeted me and then went on their way to interact with each other … just what I was hoping for this morning.I observed them for about 30 minutes. Bill and Ronnie were together and played a bit with Fiona a bit into my session.
Our data collection session started about 20 minutes late: at 06:54 AM because of rain. My team is dedicated and spent part of their observation session standing on the dock in the rain. Almost as soon as our early morning session was done, the clouds parted. The underwater visibility was good, which allowed me to see the dolphins from a distance and document their interactions.
Mrs. Beasley at first seemed playful but then a bit irritated with a few of the younger males.
Mr. French was the main individual poking and prodding me this morning. He even opened his mouth on my left arm. I was not paying attention to him, even then. Soon he lost interest in me as I was too boring. This is good as I prefer to have the dolphins ignore me so that I can record how they interact with each other.