Report # 14 Yet another tropical wave made its way over Bimini on Tuesday bringing much rain, lightning and wind for the rest of the week. Out of seven trips scheduled for this week only Wednesday's trip was cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions. Wave height and wind speeds varied much over the week, ranging between 1- 4 foot waves and wind speeds 3-15 knots. Out of the six survey trips conducted only one resulted in no sightings.
Swimming with Bottlenose Dolphins ... out here! Our last day at sea began with two bottlenose dolphins swimming by the boat at 6:47 am. Only Bill, Peppie and I were awake. A welcome good morning to all of us. We did see a few spotted dolphins further up north as we traveled, but they were not interested in us. Later in the day, we had our first 10 minute encounter with 22 bottlenose dolphins! They rode our bow and then stayed just on our visual periphery under water. But, they seemed a bit curious about us.
Begin with bottlenose, then with spotteds. It was an amazing day! I felt as though the dolphins were welcoming me home. I know that sounds corny and quite non-scientific, but that is what I felt. We saw our first dolphins of the day at about 10:30 AM ... bottlenose riding the bow. Then a group of 9 to 12 spotted dolphins at 10:48. They were playful and bowriding as we donned our snorkel gear. The swells were a bit high and we had to take care getting into the water and then returning to the boat.