My fingers had been crossed all week as I hoped for good weather on Saturday. This time of year, I don't get to join many dolphin trips, but I look forward to them whenever they do come up. Although I felt a bit rusty, I was excited as I headed to the dock Saturday afternoon. I was greeted by a small group of very excited and friendly Bimini Undersea guests and we all kept an eye out for dolphins - in between the rolling swells! It was far from a glass calm day, but the dolphins made it easy for us and appeared right next to the boat. At first we saw two Atlantic spotted calves, so we knew there must be moms nearby. Sure enough, the group size soon grew to four. We definitely saw Lil' Jess (#35) and her calf as well as Leslie's calf (soon to be ID#99). Since that little one was there, it's likely the fourth dolphin was Leslie (#80) herself. I didn't get a good enough look to be sure, but this dolphin was the right size and age to be Leslie. The mom and calf group was moving too fast (enjoying the surf!) for us to get in the water, but we all enjoyed watching them from the boat.
When this sighting was over, we resumed the search. There was a rain squall to our north and the sun was bouncing between clear skies and clouds, but our captain spotted a group of active bottlenose dolphins. We got a great look at this group of at least ten individuals. They were surfing and chasing each other - and possibly chasing fish too. At one point a school of very small fish started racing out of the water. We all looked to see what was chasing them - not a dolphin mammal, but it looked like a dolphin fish!
Although our dolphin watching was limited to the surface, we all had a great day.
Until next time, Kel