We began Thursday in lecture, learning about photo-ID. We found photo-ID “sneaky hard.” You think you’ve found a match, but it turns out – you don’t. We BIM11_T11_ID084departed the dock slightly earlier today, leaving at 1436. At 1730, we were teased by a quick glimpse of 2 – 3 bottlenose dolphins (at which point we were fairly convinced that Bimini dolphins were like unicorns). After more disappointing searching, we finally came across Atlantic spotted dolphins! We saw three dolphins riding the bow, including Tilly (#87) who is easily identified as she is missing most of her dorsal fin. Then, we got in the water (with lots of squealing)! We saw a total of eight dolphins that were very active and seemed excited. There was lots of noise under water – the dolphins were very vocal as they checked us out. Then they appeared to lose interest and we headed back to the boat.

Back on the boat, we realized that some dolphins were still swimming at the bow. Soon, there were a total of nine spotteds, including Lil’ Jess (#35) and two young calves. One calf might be #35’s, but this has not yet been confirmed.  Back at the dock, we had a BBQ and soon were in bed!

More dolphins tomorrow,
Kel & the UNBSJ crew

PS: Here's a photo of Addie (#84), who we positively identified while reviewing photos on Friday.

Wednesday was day one of the University of New Brunswick’s field course. The “new” students were scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale, FL at 9:30 a.m., but did not depart until 11:30 – because the pilot decided that was a better time for him. The other half of the class was already on Bimini having just completed a course at the Shark Lab. We set up and had lunch, followed by orientation. At 1517, we departed the dock. The sea conditions were a bit rough, leaving some students a bit green (some a bit more). We spent about four hours at sea, but the only sightings were of eagle rays and flying fish – and a possible dorsal fin. It might have been a dolphin, but it did not show itself again. Upon returning to the dock, we saw three nurse sharks, one big bull shark, tarpon and two southern sting rays. We washed up for supper, ate and then talked about the day and sampling methods. As Canadians, we are all keeping tabs on the NHL playoffs; some of us are happier than other (and Kel has no idea what’s going on).

Tomorrow we will see dolphins! After class of course….

Until then,
Kel & the UNBSJ crew

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