Fish of the Day is Soup

Today was a dolphin-full day! It began with data collection and socially active subgroups zipping across the lagoon – sometimes at the surface and often underwater. Stan, Tank, Ronnie, and Rocky were very social with each other while Sandy and Buzz just had to check out Kathleen’s fins.

After breakfast we returned to Bailey’s Key for our dolphin encounter and swim. It was very windy, but the underwater visibility was pretty good. We met Elli with Carl and Bailey who was with Gloria. And we were able to catch a photo with the CSU Rams Abroad flag and Elli! Our 30-minute swim with the dolphins was spectacular!! Some of the younger dolphins got very close to us! There were also a few jellyfish in the lagoon area, but everyone was fine swimming around them.

We watched the morning video data before lunch to practice our dolphin IDs and got a few more views of Tank, Stan, and Champ. After lunch we heard from Don B. about his life’s path and received advice for moving forward with our journeys through life. We actually had a tiny bit of free time before we returned to the classroom to hear Teri’s lecture about training and operant conditioning. It was interesting to hear all her anecdotes from training dolphins at Bailey’s Key. The hour before and after dinner was set aside for our 10-minute project meetings with Shane, Kathleen, and Manon. So far, there are 9 research proposals in development and 2 PSAs. All germinating ideas!

Here are our personal impressions from the day:

MacKenzey – I’m really glad we waited until the end to do our dolphin swim so we could ID and interact with all the individuals in a more integrated and complex manner.

Michaela – If it looks like a jellyfish, don’t touch it to find out.

Eden – I touched that jellyfish, but I’m fine.

Noa – I loved the dolphin encounter and swim, especially when Kami was playing with my fins.

Flora – Being able to swim down with the dolphins really made me feel like a mermaid.

Camdyn – I really enjoyed learning about how the dolphins are trained and everything that goes into it. Very interesting.

Jade – Being able to swim in the dolphin enclosure gave me a better idea of how much we are missing when doing our surface observations.

Kayvon – With me dolphins snorkel.

Catalina – I loved being able to see how playful and friendly the dolphins were underwater.

Annelise – I liked feeling the texture of the dolphin’s skin and getting faked out by a dolphin in the swim.

Alyssa – my favorite part of the dolphin swim was when I dived down and the dolphin followed me, and we did a couple of dives together.

Paige – I was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to clean the coral trees this year and I’m really happy I did.

Don – this is just an incredible group of students.

Shane – Kami has no understanding of personal space. And, a great line up of guest speakers with Don’s talk today – excellent.

Manon – Best dolphin swim so far. I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.

Tomorrow is our last full day here at AKR on Roatan.

Until tomorrow,

CSU Double D’s

P.S. Blammy the dolphin made friends with Primo the cat this morning!