LOTS of video – ~50 minutes.
The morning trip brought us traveling all the way around Mikura and observing more than 60 different individual dolphins. A few groups were resting and we chose not to spend too much time with them. We did see a group of sub-adult males that seemed to be heading somewhere important. One or two of their group (~12) made a few passes to check out the split-finned creatures (us) but mostly kept on their way. We observed a few mother/calf pairs in the last group observed on the morning trip. Two calves from this year: one is healthy and growing fast while the other has several scars and seems to be getting smaller, if that were possible. This little dolphin is always with mom and they seem okay for now. Our afternoon trip covered less distance but gave us more time in the water observing the dolphins. On our first entry, we witnessed 6-8 dolphins, all sub-adult males, snacking on fish from the sand. We were north of Subarune over one of the only spots with patches of black sand. It was the first time at Mikura that I have observed dolphins headscanning over sand and picking fish out of the bottom. And, eating them! We see this all the time from the spotted and bottlenose dolphins in the Bahamas. Another behavior to add to our list of 'same' between both groups. We saw the mother/calf pairs again – though membership in the group had shifted and the moms all had 1 or 2 year old calves. One calf was disciplined, but only the dolphins would know why … we just saw the reprimand. Then, they swam swiftly out of view. A great, if tiring, day on the water. I still have to finish logging the data sheets. And, there is another trip planned for tomorrow morning … till then. Kathleen