02 July 2017

2017 Summer Field Interns? All Here!

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The DCP Intern “Trio” has assembled in Bimini and we are ready to go! Kaiya and Patrick, who participated in past DCP university field courses on Bimini, arrived on Monday, and share their travel and arrival adventures below. After Tori & Nicole’s boat trip, it was a DCP family reunion of sorts and we are more excited than ever to get moving on this summer’s work!

               

Kaiya:  Waking up in upstate New York, it didn't seem quite real that later in the day I would be back in Bimini and working with DCP. However, after a long day of travel that included meeting up with Patrick in the Ft. Lauderdale airport, I found myself on the beach gazing into the crystal clear, turquoise waters of the Bahamas. After two years, it is incredible, and surreal, to be back! Patrick and I took some time to explore the apartment, unpack, and unwind before being treated to a fun and lively dinner with Kel, Captain Al, Nicole, and Tori. It was great to see them all again! I am so excited to be a part of the DCP team for the summer and look forward to our first day of work tomorrow.

Patrick:  I started my Monday by flying from the Cincinnati airport to Fort Lauderdale at 8 am. Once I got to Fort Lauderdale's airport I met up with Kaiya at baggage claim, whose flight coincidentally landed at the same time as mine. We passed to time until our flight to Bimini by reviewing some dolphin ID pictures to try and refresh ourselves on some of the individuals we will be seeing over the next few weeks. We finally got to board the plane and we were off! When we neared the beautiful island I was amazed that I was actually coming back and would be living here for a few weeks. When we landed on South Bimini we got through customs and waited for our shuttle ride to the water taxi. After the short ride to North Bimini we walked the short distance to our new home. Once we unpacked and relaxed for a bit we traveled upstairs to join Kel and the kids as she began making us dinner. Al, Nicole, and Tori joined us when they got back from their boat trip. It was nice to see Kel, Nicole, and Al again after such a fun trip with EKU this time last year. We had a fun night catching up, eating dinner, and playing with the kids. I'm extremely eager to get going on Tuesday and get out on the water and see some dolphins!

Tori:  Today was another beautiful day in the Bahamas for dolphin observations! We left the dock around 3 pm, and had our first dolphin sighting within the hour. That makes two days in a row where we’ve found the dolphins in under an hour! (Thanks to Captain Al and Captain Audley) For today’s boat trip, I was charged with staying on the bridge and perfecting my documentation skills and filling out the “Sighting Sheet,” while Nicole worked as the spotter on the bow, and then was able to get in and record video under water.

Today we had so many familiar dolphins in attendance! Split jaw (#22), Lil’ Jess (#35), Paul (#99), Stefran (#82), and Prince William (#64) all made an appearance! There was one group of about nine dolphins, and multiple sub-groups in the area, all demonstrating behaviors ranging from resting, to active socio-sexual behavior. We also had the pleasure of witnessing a fairly large female bottlenose dolphin swim through the area with her calf, and another group of about six bottlenose which we passed on our way back to the dock. It was yet another productive research day aboard Renegade!

Until tomorrow,

The Trio

Kelly Melillo Sweeting

Kel is DCP's Bimini Research Manager, and all around awesome scientist.

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