11 July 2018

Behind the Mask meets the Bimini dolphins

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Happy Independence Day, The Bahamas! As the island of Bimini celebrated along with the whole country, Nat had another island-office day, working on photo-ID. Kel headed out with Bimini Adventures for an unusual dolphin trip…

I knew I wouldn’t be able to collect any underwater data, but I still packed my gear, just in case! Al and I departed the Sea Crest and were soon getting to know the awesome team from Behind the Mask. I’m grateful for their openness as I offer insight into how they can be the least invasive and the most respectful of the dolphins during their shoot this week. I did a short on-camera interview with them and then – we were off! It was a long ride with not much to see and as the clouds built, Al decided to take us closer to shore where the sunshine was. There were more boats seeking dolphins than we prefer, but everyone respected their space and soon, we were watching some bottlenose dolphins. They, unfortunately, had plans other than hanging with us. But, as the day wore on, a friend of Al’s said he was ok with the BTM team joining him in the water before he moved on. From the boat, I quickly saw Romeo (#10) and Lil’ Jess (#35) and what I assume were their calves. I also think I saw Paul (#99). The BTM team used up every ray of sunlight they could and boarded the boat with all smiles, thrilled with how Day 1 went. On the ride home we even got to enjoy a long bow ride from Lil’ Jess & her (presumed) calf. The calf, I noted, is getting its first spots….I wonder if we’ll be able to add it to the catalog before it leaves mom’s side!

Until tomorrow!

Kel

Kelly Melillo Sweeting

Kel is DCP's Bimini Research Manager, and all around awesome scientist.

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