I was in the water twice on Monday for a 30 min session (6:30 AM) and then a 60 min session (11:00 AM). The underwater visibility was 10 meters plus and it was clear with some sun, so it was also bright! The dolphins were quite social and very interactive with one another. On my first entry, Mika had Gracie’s calf! Mika’s calf was nowhere to be seen until I spotted Ronnie chasing him. I believe this little guy is a true instigator! Individually and at different times, he and Pigeon (Cedena’s calf) have echolocated at and on me. They do this when their mom’s are a bit away and so they can really get into it. During the second session, Mika’s calf was rubbing and playing with Marge and then with Fiona. They might have been “calf-sitting” for Mika. Also during the second session, I watched and recorded as Gracie and Maury swam into view on their sides but belly to belly with Gracie’s tiny calf between them. It reminded me of the bear hugs that John and I give to Umi. The calf was reacting like Umi and seemingly trying to wiggle free of mom and her big sister!
Penn and Wu-Jung had their first swim with the dolphins. Both exited with huge smiles, mimicking the dolphins?! Both Penn and Wu-Jung have worked with and studied dolphins and Wu-Jung is a graduate student studying dolphin echolocation for her doctorate. Still, the swim gave them both a different perspective or feel for how the dolphins interact under water. There is so much to learn and observe from these animals. So much we can learn about their social behavior and society.
There will be many hours spent in data analysis but it is all very worth it. Tomorrow begins early in the morning – more data. So far, the weather has held for us and the current and visibility are also…