Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

Dolphin Gazette 22.3

Download your copy today!This issue is filled - and we mean filled - with updates from the field: Bimini, Roatan and the Amazon! We've got a lot of data processing ahead of us! Also check out news from Wanderer Bracelets and meet our newest Adopt-A-Wild-Dolphin, Poppy McVie! Thanks for reading - and sharing!

A Bottlenose Farewell

Shortly after breakfast on Thursday morning, Kel and the DCP guests met for a discussion on ecotourism. Kel was able to share the voluntary Code of Conduct that Bimini Adventures, Captain Al’s ecotour company, and the other consistent dolphin ecotour group operating out of Bimini agreed upon to define the appropriate way of observing the dolphins around Bimini. (Click here to see the guidelines yourself.) Generally, the document describes when it is appropriate to observe dolphins, it defines resting and foraging behavior (which are the times it is always inappropriate to follow the dolphins) and provides the best practices for driving boats and swimming with the dolphins (e.g. drive slowly, no sharp turns; do not touch, feed, or chase). The…

Lots of Wind and Cruising Dolphins

After breakfast on Wednesday morning, Kel, Nicole, and the DCP guests headed to Radio Beach to collect garbage and recycling. It was a lovely day, but we were fortunate that the clouds gave us a break from the blazing sun while everyone worked hard to pick up as much trash as they could. If it had been a bit cooler, we would have kept working all morning! But as you can see in the photo above, we were very effective in under an hour. Once we had rinsed the sand off and had some water, we re-grouped for Kel’s presentation and discussion about photo-identification and the dolphins of Bimini. The boat departed from the Sea Crest Marina at 1500, just…

Intricate Mangroves and Lots of Dolphins!

Tuesday morning also began nice and early—our guests want to make the most of the days they have here on Bimini! A bit later in the morning, a small group set off with Mr. “Bonefish” Ebbie to explore the Healing Hole. On East Bimini, the area made up of mangroves, there are elaborate creeks and tunnels naturally formed in the forest. On the outgoing tide, cold water flows out of these creeks and brings with it lots of minerals, which some people believe to have healing powers. Whatever you believe, this adventure into the mangroves was beautiful, and an amazing side of Bimini that visitors rarely see. And on our way back to the dock, we saw lots of Southern…

Less wind, more dolphins!

The group started with breakfast nice and early on Monday, so a couple of people would be able to go for a morning dive. The rest of us chatted for a bit before the first session of the day, an introduction to DCP and the research we do. Nicole presented the slideshow describing DCP’s origins, our field sites, the dolphins studied here off Bimini, and our research methods. The guests had some really interesting questions. Kel and Nicole had a great time sharing their knowledge with the group. After lunch, the boat departed a bit earlier, at 1400, because we would be stopping for a bit of snorkeling before our search for dolphins. The dolphins clearly didn’t know our plans,…

A Wonderful Welcome

Sunday morning was a busy one for everybody. DCP was preparing to welcome the guests for their first day on Bimini, the guests were dealing with the airlines and ferries, the Sea Crest staff was hard at work getting the hotel ready for everyone. The majority of the group was on-island and ready for our first meeting at noon, when DCP made introductions and gave everyone the “house-keeping” chat. As the last few guests made their way to the hotel from their various modes of transportation, we all shared a lovely lunch and continued getting to know each other. This is a very diverse international group, with people traveling from Colorado, Illinois, Hawaii, Virginia, Switzerland, the UK, and Turkey! Everyone…

Leaps and Bounds!

Thursday began with some office work and a bit of rain. As we were getting on the boat, the skies were covered in clouds, but by the time we reached the snorkel stop at Three Sister Rocks the sun had come out, revealing a beautiful day and impressive water clarity. The guests enjoyed seeing the differences between this snorkel stop and yesterday’s at Bimini Road. After about forty minutes soaking in the beauty, we began our dolphin search. The water was nearly flat-calm with just a light breeze keeping us cool and creating gentle ripples. One would imagine it would be nearly impossible to miss any dolphins swimming past. It took nearly an hour, though, before Captain Audley spotted something…

From Seaplane to Boat

Wednesday morning started bright (dark?) and early at 2 am, for Nicole at least. In order to get to Bimini early in the day, her first flight was at 5:00! Three flights later, including a seaplane flight with an incredible view of a submarine (!), Nicole was on-island and ready to go out on the boat with Bimini Adventures’ current guests. This group is lovely and very sociable—they had no idea Nicole would be joining them, but they welcomed her onto the boat like an old friend. The trip started with a snorkel stop at Bimini Road. The wind and water were quite calm, and it was quiet. The guests commented on how peaceful the reef there was, and how…

What a great group – of humans and dolphins!

Tuesday began with getting organized: boat bag, data sheets, cameras, supplies for group talk…and mundane tasks like laundry. When you live at the file site full time, some parts of life are quite ordinary! At 1300 I was at the Sea Crest, surrounded by eager Bimini Adventures guests. As they ate their lunch, I gave them background on myself, DCP and the dolphins off Bimini. They asked absolutely fantastic questions and there was never a lull in conversation. These interactions truly are one of my favorite parts about leading DCP’s Bimini field site. Thank you, everyone! At 1500, it was time to go in search of dolphins! The seas were calmer than the guests had on Sunday and there were…

Waves and Dolphins. Ah.

On Thursday, I headed to the Sea Crest to chat with this week’s Bimini Adventures guests during their yummy lunch. They have had a great week exploring Bimini and observing the dolphins and it was nice to share DCP’s work with them, answer their questions and hear their experiences. Soon enough, it was time to wrap up so we could all get ready for the boat trip! We departed in a stiff breeze so we not surprised to see large swells and plentiful white caps as we approached the tip of the island. Still, everyone stayed optimistic and eagerly searched for dolphins. Suddenly, a single bottlenose dolphin approached the bow, surfing its way past us. Just as quickly as it…
Travel Home and Field Data Summary
13 Aug 2018

Travel Home and Field Data Summary

Saturday was our day of travel. Luckily, our flights were in the afternoon on Saturday. That meant we could do an early morning kayak (to Bailey’s!) and some morning yoga. Dr. H and Dr. D let all the Snorkelin’ Snakes know they could join us at ~6 am for these events! Still, we had only one participant – Kassandra! Our kayak was lovely – with a calm sea and slight breeze. We said good morning to the dolphins and wrapped up the early morning with a relaxing stretch yoga session!The airport on Roatan was BUSY! The wait lounge is much expanded and we had a relatively calm wait for our flights. The week was a huge success with several student…
Dolphin Days are Over
11 Aug 2018

Dolphin Days are Over

The snorkel after data collection on dolphins was amazing! Kassandra’s favorite fish was the parrotfish. And we saw a sea turtle and a barracuda from the boat – both were amazing!Paige had her best dolphin observation on our last day – the dolphins were extra loud this morning which was good for Paige because she was documenting dolphin vocal behavior.Tank visited Alex P and Jessica three times … just to see us and play and hang out!Kim confirmed that the dolphins were very vocal and active during morning observations – it was a two-thumbs up session!Sam was pleased to be able to experience Gracie’s echolocation this afternoon. Teri had all the students get into the water to experience Gracie searching…
Murky Mangroves
10 Aug 2018

Murky Mangroves

We began the day with data collection while Dr. D was in the water. It was the most interactive that Paige has seen since we’ve been here this week. Gonzalo said that one of the most interesting things was all the new behaviors we saw this morning, such as barrel rolls and some object play. There were also some odd combinations of dolphins this morning and they were playing in trios and small groups. Alex C saw a puffer fish when doing the observations this morning for the sea grass biodiversity study. Actually, this morning there were two concurrent data collection sessions – while Dr. D was observing dolphins, a portion of the class was assisting Soledad and Grant with…
Day 5 – Turtle Lovin’, and other aquatic animal observations
09 Aug 2018

Day 5 – Turtle Lovin’, and other aquatic animal observations

The day began wet – the evening was riddled with thunder storms that kept many of us awake. The dawn was behind the clouds and the beginning of the dolphin observations were rainy. Some of us got to sleep in a little bit longer because our groups split up for data collection sessions – some watching dolphins and others assessing biodiversity over seagrass. Mike never meets a stranger, even when he’s doing research. The visitors at Baileys thought he was one of the RIMS staff; he greeted folks with a smile. Grant and Soledad’s group kayaked and snorkeled in an effort to videotape the sea grass for the biodiversity study. (Can you tell the morning was data-collection-filled?!)Some of us spent…
Day 4 - Nighttime Adventures
08 Aug 2018

Day 4 - Nighttime Adventures

Our morning began as usual with data collection for DCP and Dr. D. The dolphins were especially active this morning! Paige got splashed by one of the dolphins while doing observations. We had a lively breakfast that included a birthday song for Kassandra (and Dr H. sent happy birthday wishes to Katie, her daughter!). The AKR team had a nice coconut cream pie with Happy Birthday written on the plate! We had a very enticing cognitive lecture this morning. We learned the parallels between dolphin and human intelligence. After the lecture, the group split up to collect data on two different student projects. Paloma, Jesus, Alex C., Ashley, Mike, and Emily stayed with Dr. D to learn about video logging…

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Write to us via snail-mail at:

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

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info {at} dcpmail {dot} org


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