BIM11_T13_ID056_seaweedWe began Saturday with a lecture about dolphin senses and communication, followed by photo-ID work. We departed the dock at 1403 and went to “The Road to Atlantis!” We saw many species including angelfish, trumpet fish, barracuda, lobster, queen triggerfish and sergeant majors. Kel saw a turtle from the boat, but it wasn’t interested in checking out us snorkelers. Some people think the stones might have been human-made while others are going with a natural formation.

During our search for dolphins, we passed a large loggerhead turtle, which quickly dove down as the boat passed. At 1635 we saw 5 Atlantic spotted dolphins – three adults (including Stefran #82) and two calves. We got in the water with this group, but they did not stay very long. Back on the boat, we lost sight of the dolphins for a few minutes, but soon two of the adults and one calf came back to the boat. The sighting ended at 1746. Our next sighting began 1817 and included both of Bimini’s dolphin species – bottlenose and spotted! They were very active and there were lots of mating attempts. The highest group count was 23 individuals! The bottlenose dolphins are much larger than the spotteds and had many more rake marks on their bodies. We observed this mixed species group underwater and then continued observations of nine spotteds. We saw crater feeding and heard lots of vocalizations. Three spotteds were observed “playing” with seaweed – the seaweed was on the fluke of one individual before another grabbed it in its mouth and another took it with its pectoral fin, and so on. In this photo, you can see Lone Star (#56) with seaweed in her mouth!

Atlantis remains a mystery,
Kel & the UNBSJ crew

Some of us got up early on Friday to watch the Royal Wedding – but not all of us. We worked on ID’ing our photos from yesterday’s trip – we confirmed #84, 87 and 93 were present during our underwater observation. After lunch, we were on the boat early for a 1300 departure. First, we saw 2-3 bottlenose, including Tt15 and possibly a new individual. We came upon spotteds at 1540 and observed them under water from 1553 to 1559. We saw Stefran (#82) from the boat and under water. We also saw Cerra (#38) and, most likely, her calf. Perhaps the calf is in this picture, taken by our professor. BIM11_T12_Calf_TurnbullOur second spotted dolphin sighting was at 1705; a group of 11 dolphins, including Tilly (#87) and un-named #93.  They were moving southwest and very active. They were busy chasing fish and playing with seaweed; there were lots of pink bellies! Un-named #93 was also making odd noises out of her blowhole – were they burps, coughs or just fun? Some of us were able to have a short underwater observations during which the young dolphins were very active.

Storm clouds were moving in from Florida – we could hear thunder and see lightning far in the distance. Luckily it was time to head in anyway, so we did. Back on land we had a delicious turkey dinner and watched the film DOLPHINS. It was cute and informative.

We are a bit worried about tomorrow’s weather, but hopefully we’ll snorkel on our way to finding dolphins.

Until then,
Kel & the UNBSJ crew

Contact Us

Write to us via snail-mail at:

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

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info {at} dcpmail {dot} org

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