We had a great Monday with two data collection sessions and several dives for our team! The morning session brought much better underwater visibility with me entering the water at about 6:45 AM. The dolphins were very vocal and very social. Ken and Anthony thought my fins were the best toy in the world! They mouthed my fins and poked at my feet. Not something I encouraged but I did my best to ignore them.
The second session had slightly less visibility under water but no less social activity. The males were in smaller subgroups and very tactile and much rubbing and noise ensued during my observation session. Ritchie was with Han and Bill most often and was also making pop sounds while the others sort of squawked. Whistles were everywhere it seemed. Luckily, my fins were less interesting and so I was able to watch the activity a bit more out of range of the prying playful nature of the dolphins.
During each session the 1 and 2 yr old dolphins took several passes and looked into the front port. Paya, the oldest male, even positioned himself directly in front of my lens once and then pressed his body against my left side …
Our DCP team joined most of the other guests at AKR and visited Maya Key for a picnic from about 10 am to 3:30 pm. They took the dive boat over and did several dives there and back. The winds picked up, as they have been doing each afternoon, and so their ride was a bit bumpy, but still enjoyable.
Tomorrow, we have another early morning session and an afternoon of data review and dolphin sketch drawings.
Until then, cheers
Kathleen and the DCP 2011 RIMS team