Dancing in the Dark

Our day began ON the water and ended IN the water! We conducted surface and space use data collection around Kathleen’s data collection session. The dolphins were very quiet this morning – both above and below the surface and vocally. You can see Kathleen’s snorkel in the middle of the lagoon in our featured photo. After data collection we enjoyed a yummy breakfast to fuel our day. We had the hydrodynamics of swimming paper discussion on the RIMS classroom porch … and got side-tracked by a dolphin training session in the channel. The rest of the morning was in the classroom for Manon’s presentation on pair-swim position (PSP) swimming among the RIMS dolphins. After PSP, we watched the morning video that Kathleen’s collected and learned quickly due to the buzzer noise on our wrong guesses for IDs.

Lunch was welcome and followed by a presentation by Jennifer (RIMS Education) on sea turtles. We learned much about the local sea turtles and hope to see one on a future snorkel. Our afternoon included free time for us to work on our portfolios and maybe paddleboard or enjoy the water. Tonight was our night snorkel and it felt like we were dancing in the dark with sea creatures all around us. We heard toad fish but did not see them. We actually saw three octopuses, two moray eels, and two barracudas.

Here are our impressions of the day:

Ava – I had an awesome time on night snorkeling and I saw a huge eel and an octopus.

Michael – I’ve done some very cool and unique things in my life but night snorkeling is at the top of that list.

Brooklyn – Even though I look silly with a paperclip in my glasses it makes me a better dolphin behavioral researcher because I can see when doing the scans.

Sarah – The octopus I saw during night snorkeling seemed confused on what color he was.

Claire – I saw a burrfish during the night snorkel and got to try space use observations – supper cool day.

Corey – taking all the panos during observations makes for a fun game of spot the difference when looking at them.

Gill – Today was so fun and super tiring. Night snorkeling was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Sam – There’s nothing cooler than the ocean at night.

Emily – Lots of dolphin observations today. So many silly squirrelfish during night snorkeling, which was really cool.

Laura P. – Made it through the night snorkel and I only lost Sarah once.

John – Space use collection went way better probably because I wasn’t time keeping. But snorkeling was really fun tonight.

Kayla – Saw no agouti today but I did see a really cool lizard and it was big and scared me a bit.

Laura M. – Had a productive morning practicing space use, heard lots of good questions, enjoyed night snorkeling with everyone, and looking forward to tomorrow.

Justin – I am super impressed with the data collection prowess that was demonstrated this morning, but the highlight of my day was Brooklyn’s face when two dolphins porpoised a foot in front of her (a stunned, surprised smile!).

Manon – Got to see a very cool chain moray eel during the night snorkel.

Tomorrow brings us our dolphin encounter and swim – we are all very excited!

Until tomorrow,

URI’s Agouti Gang