Our first morning collecting dolphin surface observations while Kathleen collected underwater video went well. Prior to collecting data, Kathleen, Shane, and Manon introduced us to dolphin anatomy and the habitat. The dolphins were VERY active according to Manon and Kathleen and we got to hear lots of vocalizations and see some chases and socializing. Tilly, especially, was whistling really loudly at some of us. Elli, Buzz, and Gizmo seemed to be whistling loudly with bubbles at the same time at Kathleen underwater. After data collection, we had a delicious breakfast followed by an introduction to the dolphins and how to recognize them by both permanent and temporary scars and marks and we got to watch this morning’s video data and practice ID’ing the dolphins. Our afternoon was spent at Bailey’s Key snorkeling and seeing the small reef just to the east of Bailey’s. And we got to observe some trainers as they worked with several dolphins, which was awesome!
Aria – Oh my god I touched a dolphin! She was Bailey.
Mel – I got to take a fish out of a dolphin’s mouth and then put it back in. And that dolphin was Bailey.
Memphis – I got a kiss from Buzz the dolphin and he made my lip bleed.
Natalie – I checked spotting a parrot fish off my list today.
Isabella – I met a dolphin named Elli and we’re best friends now.
Sydney – Bailey the dolphin gave me seagrass as a present.
Grace – I loved watching the dolphins being trained today.
Julia – I snorkeled for the first time and I liked it a lot.
Hattie – Elli the dolphin gave the best kisses! I may or may not be biased.
Hannah – Buzz the dolphin could not stop kissing me.
Kiki – I got a kiss from Elli the dolphin and I saw a chitin by the water taxi.
Blake – We got to see a ton of fish while snorkeling today.
Shane – Thanks to the AKR/RIMS training staff for taking the time to work with us today.
Manon – I’m glad everyone enjoyed their first dolphin interaction, but I did not see any of it as I was busy feeding Tank.
Tomorrow starts with early AM data collection with a planned visit to Maya Key.
The Waterproof Rams