BIM11_T25_TtOn Sunday, we departed Sea Crest Hotel & Marina at about 1530 with an enthusiastic group of French/Swiss guests. The crew, in particular, was thrilled with the calm seas after last week’s wind. The guests relaxed and chatted as we all kept our eyes open for dolphins. About halfway into the trip there they were – eight bottlenose dolphins. I quickly grabbed our digital SLR, hoping to capture at least a few dorsal fin photographs. Often, when we encounter bottlenose dolphins one of two things happens: they are crater feeding (aka bottom grubbing) and we get a very long time with them or they surface and we never see them again. They did not appear to be crater feeding, so we prepared ourselves for the alternative. They went down….and then came up again. They went down….and then came up again. They…well, you get the picture. I was torn between continuing to collect dorsal fin photographs, which are a priority for our photo-ID catalog, and going in the water with the guests to see what these dolphins were up to.

Well, I opted for the surface photographs and was not disappointed; there will be plenty of photos to sort. But, I do want everything and was hanging on every word the guests and Al had to say about what they saw. This was a very rare case of mating (or socio-sexual behavior/play?) among bottlenose dolphins here. We see lots of this behavior from bottlenose dolphins, but usually within mixed-species groups. Things between the bottlenose were a bit rowdy, so the humans hung back and just watched. What a day!

The forecast is good all week, so stay tuned for daily reports!

Until then,
Kel

Monday’s dolphin trip left Sea Crest Hotel & Marina without me (as planned – don’t worry, they didn’t just leave me behind!). But, they had a great day, first with some older Atlantic spotted dolphins, then with some youngsters. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s dolphin trips were abbreviated because of the high east winds. The guests, who were wonderful and a pleasure to meet (thank you!), were able to spend time snorkeling at ‘3 Sisters’ and ‘The Bimini Road.’

Hopefully Mother Nature has gotten all the wind out of her system.

Until next time,
Kel

Contact Us

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

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