Friday (15 May) – awesome, early morning for watching dolphins interact!

I was in the water by 06:20 this morning and had visibility that improved (because of better sunlight angles) as my session progressed. Almost immediately from when I got in, I had dolphins in view and they were there for most of the 58 min session. The neatest observation was Ronnie and Fiona playing and rubbing each other and then Bill joining them. Bill and Ronnie have been a bit ornery with one another lately and Ronnie was not pleased that Bill was honing in on him and Fiona. Then, to make matters worse for Ronnie, Anthony came over and joined in the action. Ronnie was agitated and just irritable – even jaw clapping and pushing at me. Alita came over and eyed Anthony (her son). A bit later, the noise level increased and it seemed like everyone was in a small area rolling around each other!

A few minutes later, I saw Fiona without Bill or Ronnie in tow and she was whistling with bubble streams coming from her blowhole. I’d noticed Maury doing exactly the same thing a short bit earlier. I watched as they seemed to find each other and how they rubbed pectoral fins together and then Fiona rubbed Maury with her pec fin on her side and then peduncle. It seemed to me that Fiona was seeking “refuge” or comfort from Maury. This morning’s session will keep me pondering the dolphins and their actions for quite a while!

In a different sequence, Margarita zipped into view also whistling and bubbling and swam seemingly as fast as she could around me. Mrs. Beasley, her mom, was on the edge of visibility (for me) and began whistling and bubbling as well … while swimming stately and slowly. After one more circle around me, Marg joined her mom and fitted into infant position (below and slightly behind mom) and they swam out of view.
To say that I swam all over the pen area this morning would be more than accurate!
I look forward to tomorrow morning as well when we have our next hour data collection session. It will be the last session on which our 2009 DCP Eco-tour team assists as they leave later tomorrow. We’ve had a good time and I hope they have learned much and experienced more.