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

Cloudy with a Chance of Dolphins

Slowly, Taylor and I are starting to get into our island routine. Wake up with the sun, do some DCP office work, hit the beach for 15 minutes because it gets too hot, then head over to the boat at the Sea Crest for dolphin expeditions. Today we joined Manhattan and Hunter Colleges again on their search for dolphins. Taylor and I sat up top so we could scan the horizon for dorsal fins. It seems our boat trips are starting to get into a routine of their own because our luck sighting dolphins has not been in our favor during the first couple hours of the trips. I scan the horizon, hoping to catch a glimpse of flukes, dorsal…

The Daily Dolphin: Dolphins, where are you?

On Thursday, I found myself sitting, waiting for the dolphins to make their location known to me. But looking upon miles of blue ocean with no dolphins in sight really damped the mood. Traces of any dolphins were not being seen by any one on the boat. The captain tried to set a course that was close to the spots where we saw the dolphins at the end of the previous day. But her plan didn’t work, so we changed course to try and find some action in another direction. That didn’t work, so we changed course again in hope of seeing some dolphins. Hours went by without seeing any dolphins. All hope seemed lost, and I was about to…

Nothing Beats Snorkeling and Boat Trips

My return to Bimini has been nothing short of amazing since nothing can beat the incredible boat expeditions we go on in search of our daily dolphins. Taylor and I have been soaking up island life and getting into the groove of photo ID sorting, video logging, and recording the 2019 sighting sheet while we search for dolphins on the boat. We especially had a blast as we joined the Manhattan and Hunter Colleges for their snorkel and boat trip on Wednesday! First we arrived 15 minutes early to the docks over by the Sea Crest in order to get everything ready for the boat trip. Making sure water bottles were filled, sunscreen was applied, and GPS was turned on,…

The Daily Dolphin: First Day on The Job

Tuesday’s blog was written by first year intern, Taylor. We hope you enjoy her thoughts! The anticipation builds as I get closer to the boat. Being a new intern, I had a lot to learn in a quick amount of time. I had to learn how to work the GPS unit, how to take the compass direction of the boat, and how to take accurate field notes and if we could identify any individuals in the water. I was responsible for a lot of information as a new member of the DCP team in Bimini. A lot of things seem familiar to me since this was my third time returning to Bimini, but at the same time I forgot a…

A Smooth Start

After a few (well-earned) days off the boat during which we did some work and had non-research-related adventures, we were back in the swing of things with the next group. This time it’s a field course with students from Hunter and Manhattan Colleges in New York and is run by DCP research associate Dr. Daisy Kaplan and our colleague Dr. Maria Maust-Mohl. It’s a bit of a miracle that the whole group is finally on Bimini—after flight delays, cancellations, and more delays, it wasn’t a sure thing that they would all be here! Fortunately, all of the students and their professors made it to the island yesterday, ready to get going. During a drizzly, thundery morning, Kel visited the students…

Thank you, Sacred Heart University Pioneers!

Our wrap up with the SHU group was busy busy! Last Wednesday, we swapped morning blog writing for photo-ID practice before the group headed out to a small mangrove island on the edge of Bimini harbor. Once they were back at the Sea Crest, we dove back into photo-ID, this time working to match photos they took this week to DCP’s photo-ID catalog. They all did great, finding Speedy (#78) and Sulfur (#102)! Then, it was boat trip time, first stopping at “Bimini Road” (aka “Atlantis” or “The Road to Atlantis”). Kel gave the backstory on how this came to be such an important snorkel site for Bimini and everyone hopped in to make their own observations. Then, it was…

Rays, Reefs and Riddles

Monday night ended with Spoons and riddles, but that fun didn’t compare to the amazing adventure of the day. We began the day with a simple competition, but with this group, well, let’s just say it got a little heated (but still fun!). We searched for answers at the Bimini Museum and visited the Straw Market. We had an early lunch because the boat was departing at 1300 – for sharks! Nicole hooked us up with a Bluetooth speaker, which set the mood for the day as we cruised through (slightly) choppy seas to our first destination: Honeymoon Harbor at Gun Cay. It was a stunning view and we popped on “Baby Shark” only to learn that this was a…

Balloons & Spoons

In the morning, we wrote our daily blog then had a morning break. The Three-Oh-Five Stooges headed to the acclaimed CJ’s….to wait 90 minutes for cheeseburgers. They observed tourist “Brad” being not so patient with the delay, but The Stooges stayed strong and were rewarded with their delicious burgers. They promised the CJ’s cook-extraordinaire that they had her back. Back in Room 305, our class topic was photo-ID. It was interesting how you can pick out a certain characteristics and find that dolphin again; it isn’t always something huge that sticks out, sometimes it’s a smaller spot pattern. We went over the age classes and it was cool to learn how to tell them apart (and then apply that knowledge…

The Flipper

On Saturday, we had a chance to visit Mr. Ashley Saunders, local historian and artist. We toured his “Dolphin House” and it was amazing to see how dedicated he is to the project. He’s dedicated the most important years of his life to this creative masterpiece, utilizing “trash” and of course the almighty conch. He melts the conch shells down and used it as his cement. He really is the Bahamian Picasso. We were able to go inside the house, viewing all the mosaics and seeing the notes in so many languages. The lookout, from the third floor, was just beautiful – you could see the whole island. We went into the museum room and there were quotes and business…

Are Ya Spotted or Not?

More student blog posts headed your way! On Thursday, Nicole returned to Bimini and on Friday we welcomed our third 2019 university field course. This time: DCP Research Collaborator Dr. Deirdre Yeater and students from Sacred Heart University. They have 6 packed nights ahead of them. We hope you enjoy their stories! -Kel & Nicole We got up waaaaay too early. At JFK, our plane got stuck on the tarmac for over an hour, due to a malfunction. But our pilot took off with courage and grace, getting us safely to Fort Lauderdale in a jiffy. We waited for a shuttle – it was a cool shuttle bus. Our driver was perhaps a bit fed up with other passengers, so…

Diving with Dolphins: Catch ya on the flippity flip side

On Thursday, our students from Eastern Kentucky University didn’t have a boat trip, but they still had a busy day! Writing Wednesday’s blog and then heading to the one-room Bimini museum led the students to some free time, including a chance to take themselves out for local food. We came together again in the early afternoon, covering our last class topic: eco-tourism. Students discussed scientific studies on the impact of dolphin-watching tours and then put it in the context of their experience with DCP here in Bimini. Then, we sampled conch fritters (thank you, Lady Barbara!) went over the answers to their info-scavenger hunt at the museum. Let’s just say, this group was one of the liveliest yet! The winning…

Diving with Dolphins: Last Minute Encounter

Wednesday morning, we got out of the classroom and headed across the harbor to a little mangrove island. It was great to see this endangered habitat first hand, and not just discuss them theoretically. Dr. M squealed when a stingray surprised her and Holly spotted a stingray snoozing in the sand. There was really cool bright orange thing….we think it was a sponge growing on the mangrove. Behind the island, we saw the conch-mounds, conch graveyards of sorts where the local fishers discard their conch shells. Caitie and Gillian spied a baby conch on the way back to the boat and Dr. M found a beautiful, intact bivalve shell and LiEllen thought she found a vacated shell, but soon realized…

Diving with Dolphins: The Boys Are Back In Town!

Tuesday morning Deric caved and got four braids in his beard at the straw market! The ladies weren’t so sure about this request….Our class topic was contact behavior, associations and alloparenting. Our boat trip began with a snorkel stop at “3 Sisters.” We were happy to see this extension of “Atlantis” and there were fish everywhere at this beautiful spot. The archway was cool and we were able to see the fishes’ schooling behavior. Back on the boat, but before resuming our search, we got to have a little fun by jumping off the bow of the boat. There was definitely a dive contest going on. When we found the dolphins, it was a group of seven Atlantic spotted dolphins.…

Diving with Dolphins: Shark Edition

Monday morning, we explored Alice Town during break and got caught in the rain! When we got back, it looked as if we’d all showered in our clothes. Our class session was on interspecies interactions and we discussed the possibility of “spottlenose” dolphins. We chatted about the advantages to mixed species groups and why they might form. We grabbed lunch and then…. Our afternoon boat trip wasn’t aimed at finding dolphins (though we are always on the lookout, of course!). It was a really calm, sunny day – not quite Dr. M’s “jiggly jello” sea state, but close. We began with our surprise stop at Honeymoon Harbor (on Gun Cay). Here, we got to meet southern stingrays. We were a…

Diving with Dolphins: For Mature Audiences Only

Saturday began with our field routine: breakfast, blog, break & class. During break, some of us went to the beach (photoshoot!), while others explored the laundromat (6 bucks a wash!). With Dr. M we discussed play behavior. Tears may have been shed….over cute elephants. We talked about different types of play and why animals play. Lunch was chicken noodle soup (yum!). Our boat trip once again departed at 14:30. It was another slow day of searching, with lots of white caps. Suddenly…was that smooth jazz playing in the distance? Nope. But it was two loggerhead turtles mating at the surface. Was this sighting in honor of Endangered Species Day? Can’t be sure, but we did enjoy the sighting. Captain Al…

Contact Us

Write to us via snail-mail at:

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

Email us:

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