Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

Is The Trio getting spoiled?

We kicked Thursday morning off by starting our newly implemented DCP work routine of photo ID sorting and data entry. To the delight of the Trio (Patrick, Tori & Kaiya), Kel joined us for an increased group work effort, and answer any questions we might have at this point.  After a quick lunch break, it was off to the dock for our afternoon boat ride in search of the dolphins. Once aboard the boat with Nicole, Captain Al, Captain Audley, and the eco-tour guests, Thursday turned out to be quite the day for dolphin encounters! Our journey began with a snorkel trip to Bimini Road, where everyone was delighted with their experience in the crystal clear water…it was so inviting,…

Birthday Dolphins….and rays, fish, jellies, pastry…

Patrick, Tori, and Kaiya started their Wednesday with an early AM snorkel off the “Galant Lady.” Getting in the water first thing in the morning was something we’ve all been eager to do, and this was the perfect morning to do it!  Among the highlights of the snorkel were an apprehensive barracuda, a stingray, some split-crown feather dusters, some comb jellies, as well as an assortment of colorful fish.  After that, it was time to get some coffee and get to work. After working on some of the Bimini dolphin photo-ID logs, and data entry for a few hours, it was time to break for lunch and then head over to the Sea Crest, where Kel was hosting a DCP…

The Trio’s First Full Day

Tuesday marks The Trio’s first full day in the field! Our morning was spent with Nicole dropping by to outline our goals for the summer. We began working on yesterday’s data entry and some bottlenose photo-ID. The morning quickly passed and we made ourselves some lunch. We then immediately went to the boat for our introductions and a quick overview of our boat regulations and protocol. We were introduced to the eco-tour group that we will be joining this week. Our trip began differently than usual by heading to Triangle Rocks for a quick shark dive (to Tori’s extreme delight!). We hopped in and saw a few reef and sharpnose sharks. Most swam by rather quickly but one was quite…

2017 Summer Field Interns? All Here!

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…

Welcome to Bimini, Tori!

We are thrilled to welcome Tori to the Bimini field team! Tori is one of three summer field interns (Patrick & Kaiya arrive tomorrow). Keep reading for Tori’s first impressions and stay tuned for lots of updates from the interns! -Kel & Nicole What can I say? My arrival on Bimini on Sunday was an incredible way to kick off the summer of 2017 with DCP! After months of planning, coordinating, and communication, I was finally able to meet Kel and Nicole in person, and hit the ground running, for what I know is going to be an incredibly productive summer.  After some mid-morning connections, and a run down of the accommodations, Nicole and I shared a quick bike ride…

Reflections from our Volunteer Field Experience Participants (VFEPs)

As you may recall, this year marks DCP’s first time running our new program, the Volunteer Field Experience featuring 12 days at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site. Mathew and Garion were our first-ever participants and we hope you enjoy hearing about their final thoughts on their experience: Mathew: During the final day of living on Bimini and assisting DCP, I spent the day baking a cake as a way of showing my appreciation towards Kelly and Al, packing my bags and finalizing my work. Before you wonder any further, the cake was Devil's Food cake and had vanilla frosting with Oreo crumbs. I also added a homemade icing that had a smiley face and "DCP" written on it. All…

A Busy Thursday Deserves Two Posts, Part Two: A Great Last Boat Day

We departed on the Hunter/Manhattan College students’ and Garion/Mathew’s final boat trip at 1400. Before beginning our search for dolphins we made a stop at Bimini Road, a popular snorkeling destination famous for being thought to be the road to the lost city of Atlantis. The snorkelers enjoyed the clear waters and saw many interesting species on the reef. After enjoying the natural wonders of the reef for about 45 minutes we began our dolphin search. We quickly came upon a group of three bottlenose dolphins. This group seemed to be feeding and did not show any interest in the boat so after Nicole snapped a few surface photos we continued on our way. Not long after seeing the bottlenose…

A Busy Thursday Deserves Two Posts, Part One: Beach Cleanup

Thursday morning began with Garion, Mathew and Nicole joining Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Maust-Mohl and the Hunter/Manhattan College students for a beach cleanup on Radio Beach in Alice Town. DCP feels it is important for students and island guests to gain an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment and community on Bimini, not just the dolphins that live in its waters. Picking up trash along the beach is a great way to give back to the community that has provided so many wonderful experiences over the past two weeks. This time we had a lovely treat—three Bahamian gentlemen joined our cleanup, sharing stories with the students and volunteers and impressing upon us the importance of choosing more sustainable products (one…

Wrecks, Rays and Sharks, Oh My!

On Wednesday morning, the DCP team went about our normal morning routines to prepare for the day. We spent the morning tackling photo ID’s, data entry, and field reports and tried to be as productive as possible before Mathew visited the Bimini Biological Field Station (i.e. the SharkLab) on South Bimini for a tour with some of the Hunter/Manhattan College students. There were no baby sharks for the group to see, but they did learn all about the projects being conducted by the researchers at the lab, including behavioral studies on lemon and tiger sharks around Bimini. The boat trip for the day was not related to dolphins… However, it was awesome! Captain Al and Captain Kat brought the DCP…

No Dolphins, but We Found Lots of Rain!

The DCP team woke up early Tuesday morning. After breakfast (and Mathew’s first bowl of cereal since arriving on Bimini—it sounds trivial but it is quite an exciting treat!), we set to working on data entry and photo-ID. It was nice to have another morning where we would focus on identifying bottlenose dolphins from previous years. We hit a milestone by fully completing files from four days of surface photographs, and derived a great level of satisfaction from doing so. After lunch, the boat departed at 3 PM and we were almost immediately confronted by a large swell that tested the stomachs of a few of our guests. Unfortunately, we did not spot dolphins of any type during this trip,…

A Day on Land

The DCP team slept in on Monday by about an hour; something about active dolphin research must make us all very tired. But after a slow start, we began data entry and photo ID’s, and got a considerable amount of work done. Unfortunately, our boat trip was canceled due to large swell and strong winds, so the day was largely left open for the researchers and students that are currently on island. For the DCP team, this meant taking advantage of the time to do actual laundry (thank goodness), go shopping for groceries, and relax at the Big Game Bar and Grill for a few hours. Mathew, along with several other Manhattan and Hunter College students, spent time in the…

Perseverance Pays Off

Sunday started out as a storm. Not a metaphorical storm of work and effort but a literal one. We stayed inside the majority of the morning, like most other mornings, working on our photo IDs. Mathew also uploaded his GoPro footage from Saturday’s trip (from our swim with crater feeding bottlenose dolphins). The afternoon was unusual because headed to the boat for what we thought was an early departure, but just as we were going to leave, Captain Al told us that we would be waiting 15-40 minutes for a large squall to pass. Mathew and some of the students decided to have fun with the situation and make it a contest—the last student to hold out on the bow…

Heavy Rain Brings Dolphins!

Saturday morning we awoke to a rain storm that lasted well into the afternoon. Being “forced” to stay indoors provided the DCP team plenty of time to work on photo IDs, data entry, and field reports. Unfortunately, the presentation we expected to give to the Chicago County Day School students aboard the Coral Reef II was canceled due to poor weather. But the boat will be around Bimini for the next few days so we hope to have another chance to meet with them later this week! Just after 3 PM, we departed from the Sea Crest marina and began our daily search for dolphins. It only took about an hour to spot a group of nine bottlenose dolphins crater…

What an exceptional day!

Friday was an exceptional day. Mathew began his day with a trip to the grocery store, to save himself from the past four days of ramen. Good thing the store had bread so he can make toast! Garion and Nicole also took advantage of the recent grocery delivery (the barge only comes to Bimini once a week!) and picked up some fresh produce. The rest of the morning was spent working on sighting sheets, sorting through photos and uploading photos from Thursday’s boat trip. Friday’s boat left a bit early and began with a snorkel stop at Three Sisters. Mathew, Garion and the students and saw many interesting things, including many sea fans and a resting juvenile nurse shark. After…

OH MY GOSH WE FINALLY SAW DOLPHINS!!!!

Early in the morning on Thursday, the Bimini team woke up and accomplished a few hours of data entry and photo-ID work. We ate lunch together and then left for the docks to go on the boat trip for the day, departing an hour earlier than normal at 2 PM. At precisely 3:17 PM a group of 16 bottlenose dolphins was spotted just to the left of the bow. Garion jumped up so quickly that he almost forgot to start logging data for the sighting. A few minutes later, Kel, Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Maust-Mohl, Garion, and half of the student group entered the water heavily armed with video cameras and enthusiasm while Mathew stayed on the boat to record data…

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Write to us via snail-mail at:

Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985
USA

Email us:

info {at} dcpmail {dot} org

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