Dipping with Dolphins

Everyone was up early and ready and waiting at the water taxi when Joel arrived with our chariot. You can see us on the featured photo on our way to Bailey’s. We had our morning introduction and orientation to research and data collection from Bailey’s Key. We learned how wobbly the dock can be … but also how curious the dolphins are!

We had our dolphin orientation and then did our first surface data collections. Kathleen let us know the dolphins were very social underwater. We got a chance to see this for ourselves later in the morning when we viewed the video and began learning how to ID the dolphins.

Indeed, after breakfast, we were in the classroom to learn why Photo-ID is important and then we were introduced more formally to the RIMS dolphins – their scars, marks, and a bit of their personalities. It was fun to learn about them in more detail.

After lunch, we learned about Space Use Data and the activity levels (1 through 5) for the dolphins! We went snorkeling at Bailey’s Key this afternoon to practice with our new gear or learn some skills for snorkeling. A bit of free time preceded the Fish ID talk and then dinner. All in all, it was a great first full day.

Here are our individual thoughts:

Flora – it was really nice once we went snorkeling to put names to the fish we saw after learning them at the Fish ID talk.

Camdyn – me and Eden today saw a puffer fish when we were snorkeling, which was really cool.

Noa – It was really fascinating learning how to ID the RIMS dolphins.

Michaela – I was very excited to see my first fan coral today during snorkeling.

Catalina – It was cool to see the fish as part of an ecosystem instead of in a tank.

MacKenzey – it was truly rewarding to not only learn about each individual’s role in the ecosystem but to experience it ourselves while snorkeling.

Jade – I found it interesting how the rake marks on the dolphins start out so dark and then fade away completely.

Kayvon – it was cool to see the dolphins do their thing while we did observations.

Annelise – I hadn’t realized how different each dolphin’s fluke was.

Eden – It was really cool to be able to observe dolphins and other marine creatures today.

Alyssa – I really enjoyed doing observations for the first time on Bailey’s Key.

Don – Water is life.

Paige – I enjoyed the free dolphin show in front of the resort – it’s training growth for the animals.

Shane – Note to self – next trip bring ID cards for Dr. D. to learn how to recognize distinguishing marks on the students. And, no giant parrot fish again!

Manon – No giant ass parrot fish but a very unexpected purple bra wrapped around the coral.

Tomorrow will bring an early morning data collection session followed by a visit to Maya Key for an introduction to the culture of the islands.

Until tomorrow,

CSU Double D’s (dolphin dudes)