Tuesday was a good day with a one hour session in the early morning for data collection. We have lucked out with the weather; the morning sky was mostly clear and the sun brightened the view underwater early on. The underwater visibility continued to be EXCELLENT! Ronnie again had new rake marks on his back but that seems nothing new since he is still the instigator in the group. Mika’s calf was spending some time with him this morning and I truly hope the calf is not picking up Ronnie’s habits! The morning was filled with low-level social activity and all the calves again had a chance to come check out the green tube that I push through the water. We also documented some nursing by Gracie’s calf and by Mrs. Beasley’s calf.
Ken was roughly playing with Anthony and then with Ritchie – squawking at one another with bubbles and rubbing their heads and backs against each other. It seemed a bit like sparring or wrestling. Near to the end of my session, as I was approaching my exit point, I saw a weird looking fish and as I got a bit closer (filming the whole time) I realized it was a lionfish. They are hanging out all over the place, an accidental introduction to the Atlantic and Caribbean. possibly during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Our afternoon was spent entering the surface data into the excel logs and working on a video log. We decided to do the logs out of order and started with that day’s tape (A41008). We worked our way through ten minutes of video data in about 3 hours. As we went along, we updated sketches. These dolphins, especially the young males, have lots of new rake marks even in the last 5-7 days! Penn and I also helped Wu-Jung, doctoral student at MIT/WHOI, calibrate and test her two hydrophones.
Tomorrow we hope to collect data with the DTag that she brought with her. But, more on that tomorrow…
(this photo from 2006 shows an adult RIMS dolphin spying on the surface observers … she has no rakes visible in this photo)