Two female dolphins very inquisitive and playful.
Today was a great day on the water. We left the pier at 8:40 AM and began a counter clockwise course around Mikura. We sighted dolphins 3 minutes out of the port. They were resting and we barely saw them on one entry. So we continued on. Our next group was similar – rest & travel and not interested in swimmers. We continued on after one entry. All that changed with our third sighting and the group of dolphins by Otaura, the south side of Mikura. We swam with a group of 8 – 10 dolphins that were in subgroups of 3-4 individuals. They seemed to be ending a rest period and many of the individuals were inquisitive. After about 20 minutes, the dolphins spread out (filling a 100m by 100m area). Then, the fun began! The dolphins were chasing tobiuo (flying fish). Large groups of flying fish lept from the surface. Often we would see a single flying fish take flight with a white glare speed swimming below it. The dolphins swim upside down under the fish and catch it when it re-enters. Sometimes the dolphins lose sight of the fish in a swell, sometimes not. We saw several catches. Underwater, I saw and recorded one sub-adult dolphin with one of the flying fish hanging out of its mouth! The dolphin was holding the fish by its tail and swimming around with it. We also had 6-8 minutes with two females – #036 and #223 (Beauty-chan because of a beauty mark on her face). They swam alongside us and interacted with each other. Very inquisitive behavior. I am still writing up data sheets from today. I took about 20 minutes of video and recorded with the click detector. A great day!! Cheers Kathleen