Travel, Arrival, Unpacking!

Today was everyone’s travel day – Kathleen, John & Manon from Miami. The CSU group from Denver (mostly) and Bill from California via Houston. Bill’s flight was first to arrive, and he sailed through immigration whereas the rest of us all arrived at about the same time (i.e., 3 planes in at the same time). This meant that we got to know each other much better and also all other passengers on all three flights … because we had a 2 hour wait to get through the immigration line. Thankfully, when we exited the customs area, Gregory and Brayon were waiting for us with the AKR shuttle for our ~20 min ride to Anthony’s Key Resort.

We settled in nicely, received an orientation from Jennifer (Education Director of RIMS), and then went to Bailey’s Key to (finally) meet the dolphins (See main photo for all of us!). We spent about 30 minutes at the water taxi arrival area and got to meet nearly all the dolphins who call the key’s lagoon home. Kathleen and Manon started pointing out the individual markings on each of the dolphins as we tried to count how many there were present!

Our individual impressions from this first day follow:

Olivia – I enjoyed meeting and learning a little bit about the dolphins.

Sara – Very fun making new friends in both human and dolphin form.

Bella – I almost cried with joy when I saw the dolphins.

Paige – it was fun bonding over the long immigration line.

Lauren – It was interesting to know that we’re just supposed to observe the dolphins’ behavior and not interpret their actions.

Gabby – It was a really long day but the dolphins made it worth it.

Daniel – I enjoyed meeting the dolphins and all of the people helping out around the resort.

Eli – My favorite part was getting taunted by some kids on the way to the resort.

Madi – it kind of feels surreal (in a good way) that we’re here.

Holly – I don’t remember what the animal is called (an agouti) but I really enjoyed seeing that species of animal as I’d never seen one before.

Nick – I really liked seeing “Bacon”, the cat.

Traci – I thought it was really cool that I was able to see a variety of marine life in the first hour of being here.

Maeley – The views and being greeted by the dolphins were my favorite part of today.

Manon – Congratulations you all survived a very very long immigration line and welcome to Roatan.

John – the research drone test flights were successful. Woohoo!

Bill – looking forward to my first student trip!

Shane – Excited for this new group. Looking forward to a great week.

Dinner was delicious and we learned our data collection sessions begin tomorrow at 6 AM at the water taxi stand for our ride to Bailey’s Key … and more dolphins.


CSU’s June 2024 group (tired brains need another day to come up with a better name)