On Wednesday, we had the luxury of not only one dolphin trip, but two to choose from! Kel and Cat set off with Bill & Nowdla Keefe while Janan stuck with Bimini Adventures. Although there were some squalls passing through, the Hatteras was able to head out at 13:40 towards the Bimini Road for a nice snorkel stop. After a leisurely snorkel, swim, lunch break, we continued on at 16:20 to look for dolphins. We didn’t want to get too far from Bimini in case there were storms, but luckily the dolphins seemed to have the same idea! At 16:45 we had our first sighting of a group of 10 spotteds, including White Blotch (#29), Swoosh (#36) and maybe Cleopatra (#41). We hopped in the water, but the dolphins were more interested in bowriding than sticking with us. We continued our search, and were rewarded at about 18:00 with another group spotteds, including some active, tail-slapping calves. About an hour later, the group grew to over 10 individuals, including White Blotch (#29), Swoosh (#36), Billy (#64), Tim (#69), Tilly (#87) and un-named #91 and 92. At one point some of the young dolphins were jawing at and nudging the body of their young conspecific (see picture). It was very interesting play (?) bout! We had a great swim with them, and finally headed home stuffed full of dolphin interactions!
Meanwhile on Bill & Nowdla’s boat, Cat and Kel set off at about 16:30. Some dolphins showed up nice and early at 17:20, including two bottlenose dolphins and two spotteds. The spotteds appeared to be a mother/calf pair; was the mother ID#43? We continued on, hoping to find another group, and around 18:00 came upon a group of over 12 dolphins including Tina (#14), Lumpy (#17), Lone Star (#56), un-named #s24, 78 and 93. We had one underwater observation and then at around 18:40 people hopped into the water and held onto a rope while the boat towed them behind. Apparently the dolphins were interested in this funny sight as they tagged along very closely! During a second tow at 19:00, even more dolphins joined in, including Freckles (#15) and Swoosh (#36). At last we had to head home, but more dolphins joined the boat for a bow ride at 19:30, including Finn (#09), Split Jaw (#22), White Blotch (#29) and Lil' Jess (#35). Such an awesome day for both boats!
Until next time,
Janan, Cat & Kel