Choppy Seas and No Sun all Day. Our winds gusted to 15 mph today giving us a bit of whitecaps to the sea surface. There was also a bit of a swell (~2 feet). And lots of rain off and on throughout the day. The rain would not have been a problem for our in water observations … we'd be wet anyway! But, the dolphins were not interested in us today. We saw several groups … which stayed just on the edge of our visibility, both above water and below the surface.
Report # 10 We had another tropical wave pass this week; although it was not as severe as the one we had last week, some survey trips were cancelled due to severe thunderstorms. Strong easterly winds, ranging between 8-15 knots, were present during three of the five survey trips conducted this week. Three of the five survey trips this week were conducted during the morning (8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Monday's survey trip resulted in no sightings.
Hot, Hot, Hot – with dolphins aplenty! Our day began with a several sightings of bottlenose dolphins. The individuals and groups were easy to see since we had glass calm seas and great visibility. We had 8 encounters today and observed several dolphins that we could readily identify. Leftpec (#115) is an adult female with a distinct noth out of the leading edge of her left pectoral fin. We saw her and a group of calves several times today. We also sawm with and recorded a group of 6-7 adult females, two of which appeared pregnant.
Leaving port tonight. Eight guests joined us this week. The weather was great and we anchored just north of Sandy Caye for the evening. It was great to see the stars this evening. The seas were flat and the temperature warm. The forecast called for fair skies and seas for the week. We will start early tomorrow and hopefully see dolphins. Wish us luck.
A great week with lots of data gathered – photos, video, sounds, & observations. We had 23 sightings and 13 encounters – 2 with bottlenose dolphins and 11 with spotted dolphins. Encounters ranged in length from 3 – 35 minutes in length. Average length was 11.5 min., while 8 min. represents the median length. We… Continue reading Summary of Trip 1 – Dolphin Data
A great day on the water … and under the surface. In 1992, both were juveniles, this year both are adults, a male and female. Whitespot and Venus, respectively. They played with us for a solid 30 minutes. Venus and a second adult female (identity to be confirmed from photos) had calves with them and Whitespot swam between both pairs. They calves did not come close but the adults did. Whitespot is named for a large white spot on the dorsal side above his right pectoral fin.
It would seem that the bottlenose here are becoming more interested in us. Our first encounter was with two dolphins – both spotted and both juvenile. They seemed to be trying to lead us away from the boat. We were anchored near what we call the little dolphin wreck. This was a navigational aid that sank many years ago. They dolphins routinely like to chase the jacks and sting rays that frequent the site. Of course, we like to swim there and watch the fish and other critters.
Report #9 A tropical wave caused much rain, lightning and wind from Tuesday through Sunday. Thunderstorms ceased on Friday morning but strong easterly winds remained. In general, wind direction was out of the East at 15-20 knots and the seas were 3-4 foot (3 or 4 on the Beaufort windscale). Three out of the nine survey trips scheduled for this week had to be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. During Monday morning's survey trip (seas mirror-like conditions), we sighted a large group of 30 spotted dolphins comprised of all age classes.
Spotted dolphins seen, but no interest. We had our first sighting of dolphins about 3 hours after leaving port. A group of five spotted dolphins. I recognized #112 (Mia) a subadult male. I first saw him in 1994 as a calf. He has numerous spots now and is usually curious. We also identified #25, an adult male named Spade. But today, this group had no interest in us. They were surfing in the swells (each about 2-3 feet) and traveling with several other dolphins. We anchored about half way up the banks and had a peaceful night …
DCP's Dolphin Research at Bimini & Xenia Brobeil Xenia Brobeil has begun working with DCP on her project studying the group dynamics of Atlantic spotted dolphins found on the Great Bahamas Bank, north of the island of Bimini. Xenia will be using photos and video to identify individuals and activity of these dolphins. Xenia's observations will provide baseline data for comparisons to data previously gathered by D.C.P. personnel studying the same species in the northern Bahamas.