Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

No Power… Beach Time!

These past couple of days have been filled with office work and short trips to the beach. We have just entered our long stretch of no boat days, which gives Taylor and I a great opportunity to get some photo sorting, video logs, and sighting sheets recorded and analyzed. On Thursday we began our day with a little bit of photo sorting and then headed over to Kel’s house to place a video call over to Marineland! We were happy to leave our little cottage because our cottage did not have power all morning. They needed to change the power box, so they had to shut off the power, which means our little home on Bimini got really hot, really…

The Daily Dolphin: Sharks, Rays, and Shipwrecks….Oh My

Tuesday was an unusually long day aboard Renegade. We boarded our vessel at 11:00am and we headed due South, instead of our normal course to look for dolphins. Little did we know, that today was going to be one of our busiest days consisting of three different snorkel stops and looking for dolphins at the very end.  Our course was chartered for our first stop, the ray encounter, which was the furthest South. The very chaotic encounter involved a lot of friendly stingrays that seemed to love the human’s presence in the water. We had the opportunity to feed the stingrays, which was my favorite part. I held the piece of shrimp out for the stingrays to see, and soon…

Summer on Blue Lagoon Island home of Dolphin Encounters!

On Sunday, I traveled from Florida to Nassau, The Bahamas, to collect some data on the dolphins at Dolphin Encounters (on Blue Lagoon Island). It is my return to collecting data underwater with my MVA2. The last sessions for me using the array was about half a dozen years ago. I’m only here for a few days to collect data and also to chat about two other studies we have ongoing or slated to begin this year. It is always a pleasure to head “into the field” … and this trip is no different. Thankfully, yesterday, I was in the water most of the day and did not realize the temps were in the high 90s (°F) with a high…

Patience Pays Off… With Dolphins!

We have not been too lucky these past few days with the weather: Sunday’s boat trip was canceled due to poor weather conditions. Although Taylor and I waited with our things prepared to hop aboard Renegade, the weather still remained not in our favor. We hoped the weather would improve for Monday’s adventures, and although it was not perfect by any means, we were still able to find a window to search for dolphins! In the morning, Taylor and I joined Hunter and Manhattan Colleges for their beach clean-up. It was cloudy and windy, but so far there were no thunderstorms. The wind was actually a blessing in disguise because it warded off all the sand flies that have been…

The Daily Dolphin: In the Eye of the Storm!

The dark storm clouds surrounded us on either side, I could see the rain in the distance. The captain of Renegade stayed our course to the snorkel stop, hoping the weather would clear. We stopped at a location known as Bimini Road. The rocks were stacked on either side of a sand path making a highway for fish underwater. We all jumped in the water excited to explore this new area and be one with the fishes for a while. I happen to see one of my favorite fish among them, a French angelfish, one of the most elegant fishes under the surface. Nat and I also had some fun practicing our free diving (with no dolphins in sight) and…

Cloudy with a Chance of Dolphins

Slowly, Taylor and I are starting to get into our island routine. Wake up with the sun, do some DCP office work, hit the beach for 15 minutes because it gets too hot, then head over to the boat at the Sea Crest for dolphin expeditions. Today we joined Manhattan and Hunter Colleges again on their search for dolphins. Taylor and I sat up top so we could scan the horizon for dorsal fins. It seems our boat trips are starting to get into a routine of their own because our luck sighting dolphins has not been in our favor during the first couple hours of the trips. I scan the horizon, hoping to catch a glimpse of flukes, dorsal…

The Daily Dolphin: Dolphins, where are you?

On Thursday, I found myself sitting, waiting for the dolphins to make their location known to me. But looking upon miles of blue ocean with no dolphins in sight really damped the mood. Traces of any dolphins were not being seen by any one on the boat. The captain tried to set a course that was close to the spots where we saw the dolphins at the end of the previous day. But her plan didn’t work, so we changed course to try and find some action in another direction. That didn’t work, so we changed course again in hope of seeing some dolphins. Hours went by without seeing any dolphins. All hope seemed lost, and I was about to…

Nothing Beats Snorkeling and Boat Trips

My return to Bimini has been nothing short of amazing since nothing can beat the incredible boat expeditions we go on in search of our daily dolphins. Taylor and I have been soaking up island life and getting into the groove of photo ID sorting, video logging, and recording the 2019 sighting sheet while we search for dolphins on the boat. We especially had a blast as we joined the Manhattan and Hunter Colleges for their snorkel and boat trip on Wednesday! First we arrived 15 minutes early to the docks over by the Sea Crest in order to get everything ready for the boat trip. Making sure water bottles were filled, sunscreen was applied, and GPS was turned on,…

The Daily Dolphin: First Day on The Job

Tuesday’s blog was written by first year intern, Taylor. We hope you enjoy her thoughts! The anticipation builds as I get closer to the boat. Being a new intern, I had a lot to learn in a quick amount of time. I had to learn how to work the GPS unit, how to take the compass direction of the boat, and how to take accurate field notes and if we could identify any individuals in the water. I was responsible for a lot of information as a new member of the DCP team in Bimini. A lot of things seem familiar to me since this was my third time returning to Bimini, but at the same time I forgot a…

A Smooth Start

After a few (well-earned) days off the boat during which we did some work and had non-research-related adventures, we were back in the swing of things with the next group. This time it’s a field course with students from Hunter and Manhattan Colleges in New York and is run by DCP research associate Dr. Daisy Kaplan and our colleague Dr. Maria Maust-Mohl. It’s a bit of a miracle that the whole group is finally on Bimini—after flight delays, cancellations, and more delays, it wasn’t a sure thing that they would all be here! Fortunately, all of the students and their professors made it to the island yesterday, ready to get going. During a drizzly, thundery morning, Kel visited the students…

Thank you, Sacred Heart University Pioneers!

Our wrap up with the SHU group was busy busy! Last Wednesday, we swapped morning blog writing for photo-ID practice before the group headed out to a small mangrove island on the edge of Bimini harbor. Once they were back at the Sea Crest, we dove back into photo-ID, this time working to match photos they took this week to DCP’s photo-ID catalog. They all did great, finding Speedy (#78) and Sulfur (#102)! Then, it was boat trip time, first stopping at “Bimini Road” (aka “Atlantis” or “The Road to Atlantis”). Kel gave the backstory on how this came to be such an important snorkel site for Bimini and everyone hopped in to make their own observations. Then, it was…

Rays, Reefs and Riddles

Monday night ended with Spoons and riddles, but that fun didn’t compare to the amazing adventure of the day. We began the day with a simple competition, but with this group, well, let’s just say it got a little heated (but still fun!). We searched for answers at the Bimini Museum and visited the Straw Market. We had an early lunch because the boat was departing at 1300 – for sharks! Nicole hooked us up with a Bluetooth speaker, which set the mood for the day as we cruised through (slightly) choppy seas to our first destination: Honeymoon Harbor at Gun Cay. It was a stunning view and we popped on “Baby Shark” only to learn that this was a…

Balloons & Spoons

In the morning, we wrote our daily blog then had a morning break. The Three-Oh-Five Stooges headed to the acclaimed CJ’s….to wait 90 minutes for cheeseburgers. They observed tourist “Brad” being not so patient with the delay, but The Stooges stayed strong and were rewarded with their delicious burgers. They promised the CJ’s cook-extraordinaire that they had her back. Back in Room 305, our class topic was photo-ID. It was interesting how you can pick out a certain characteristics and find that dolphin again; it isn’t always something huge that sticks out, sometimes it’s a smaller spot pattern. We went over the age classes and it was cool to learn how to tell them apart (and then apply that knowledge…

The Flipper

On Saturday, we had a chance to visit Mr. Ashley Saunders, local historian and artist. We toured his “Dolphin House” and it was amazing to see how dedicated he is to the project. He’s dedicated the most important years of his life to this creative masterpiece, utilizing “trash” and of course the almighty conch. He melts the conch shells down and used it as his cement. He really is the Bahamian Picasso. We were able to go inside the house, viewing all the mosaics and seeing the notes in so many languages. The lookout, from the third floor, was just beautiful – you could see the whole island. We went into the museum room and there were quotes and business…

Are Ya Spotted or Not?

More student blog posts headed your way! On Thursday, Nicole returned to Bimini and on Friday we welcomed our third 2019 university field course. This time: DCP Research Collaborator Dr. Deirdre Yeater and students from Sacred Heart University. They have 6 packed nights ahead of them. We hope you enjoy their stories! -Kel & Nicole We got up waaaaay too early. At JFK, our plane got stuck on the tarmac for over an hour, due to a malfunction. But our pilot took off with courage and grace, getting us safely to Fort Lauderdale in a jiffy. We waited for a shuttle – it was a cool shuttle bus. Our driver was perhaps a bit fed up with other passengers, so…

Contact Us

Write to us via snail-mail at:

Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985
USA

Email us:

info {at} dcpmail {dot} org

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