01 May 2019

Hold onto your hats!

93

On Tuesday, after breakfast, we wrote our first blog entries for DCP’s website. Then, after three days, we finally had our first lecture of the course – not complaining! Nicole gave us an overview of DCP, including their methods, study sites and species. Next up, the first teams presented their assigned cetacean research papers before lunch. Luckily, the weather cooperated enough for us to get out on the water. We headed out around 2:00, checking the coastline for dolphins before the waves got too big due to the “gnarly wind.” We were fortunate to see two bottlenose dolphins! One was small, so we presume that it was a mother/calf pair. At first, they seemed interested in the boat, checking it out briefly. After that, we got good glimpses of them when they came to the surface to breathe, but then we’d lose sight of them as they spent time on the bottom. It seemed they were mostly just minding their own business.

Next up: Shell Beach. The fish were beautiful, but we did notice a lot of sediment and bleaching in the small area. Some of us saw another spotted eagle ray and others got a glimpse of a hiding yellow stingray. We noticed less production and diversity compared to Triangle Rocks and most of the fish at today’s site were hiding in the rocks. Was this because they were smaller? The environment? Boat traffic? Predators? Soon, we headed back to the boat and made one more check of the shoreline for dolphins. We didn’t find any more dolphins, but we did save four of the five hats that blew overboard. Windy day!

The evening wrapped up with a BBQ at the marina, and even though the lettuce tried to blow away, the stars were beautiful! We saw the Big Dipper and admired how it looks different at this latitude.

Until next time,

Crispy Canadians (UNBSJ 2019)

Kelly Melillo Sweeting

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

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