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

Definitely making up for bad weather

Wednesday was yet another cloudy, windy, drizzly day but we set off as usual at 1500, hoping our weather luck would change and our dolphin luck would get even better. Sure enough, less than an hour into our trip (and with lighter winds and no rain) we came across a group of 10 Atlantic spotted dolphins! The waves made it difficult to identify individuals from the boat but Nicole saw at least one female that we know from the White Sand Ridge group. After some good surface observations, we decided to try an underwater encounter. We only caught brief looks of the dolphins before they swam out of view. But then Captain Al brought the boat around and with it…

A trip cut short

Tuesday was another cloudy, humid day on Bimini. We spent part of the morning working on our data and then got ready to head over to the Sea Crest Hotel. At 12:30 we met with the tourist group to have a chat about DCP, dolphins and the research we are doing in Bimini.This turned out to be wonderful and the guests had many interesting questions for us. Thank you for your interest - and for supporting DCP! We grabbed a quick lunch and then Nicole prepared for the boat departure at 1500. Even though Captain Al had checked the radar just before we left the dock, as we made our way along our usual course we could see a large…

Pay It Forward for Conservation

As you may have noticed, DCP has been expanding and growing, with our mission statement reaching farther than ever before. DCP has been fortunate to gain the support and interest of so many people, which was evidenced in our recent matching fundraiser in June—surpassing our fundraising goal of $2,000 by more than 15%! Feeling so grateful about the support received, DCP has decided to give back in its own way. To that end, DCP has started a new program to pay it forward to a conservation organization in two ways. First, one of DCP’s board members will commit to a financial contribution directly to that organization. Second—and this is the fun part for you—DCP will also commit to telling the…

Dogs, Puppies and Dolphins

Monday was a busy, busy day on Bimini! We left the house early, shuttling dog crates and supplies to the ferry; we carried them to South Bimini so we could meet the rest of the team and head up to Resorts World Bimini...oh, wait. We're getting ahead of ourselves, aren't we? Long story short, Kel is a regular volunteer at local vet clinics and with efforts to get island strays into foster and forever homes. So, when word about some stray dogs and puppies on RWB's property reached us about two weeks ago, we began spending all our free time visiting with the dogs and coordinating their rescue. Backed by the Humane Society of Grand Bahama (HSGB) and Island Paws…

New guests and lots of bottlenose

Wednesday through Saturday were off-the-boat days for DCP. In lieu of dolphin-searching, we filled our days with data entry, photo ID and (Master's) project preparation. We also spent some time preparing for the rescue of 7 puppies and 5 adult dogs found on North Bimini--Island Paws Rescue is coordinating these efforts and we wanted to lend a hand! Stay tuned for details! By Sunday we were ready for the newest Bimini Adventures tourist group. Nicole was on the boat at 1500 to join the guests on their first boat trip. Despite a heavy wind and threat of rain, we set off with the excitement only a Bimini dolphin trip can inspire. At the beginning of our journey, we stopped for…

Gazette, Gazette, Gazette!!

The Dolphin Gazette, 20.3, is here! It is jammed packed with exciting announcements and heartfelt reflections. From our Pay It Forward for Conservation initiative (Viva Vaquita!) to strengthening relationships with students and collaborators, we're sure you'll enjoy this issue. And for all you college-kids (and parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and friends of college kids), be sure to check out the details on our Dec/Jan field course to RIMS. Applications and deposits are coming in - secure your space now! Click here to download The Dolphin Gazette. Thanks for reading - and for sharing with your friends!

Snorkeling, Bottlenose and Threatening Skies

Tuesday was the Hunter and Manhattan College group's last day on Bimini. For their final boat trip we departed from the dock just after 1400, a tad earlier than usual, to do a bit of snorkeling before commencing the search for dolphins. Our snorkel stop was at Bimini Road (known by some as the Road to Atlantis, or some variation of this name). After the students had explored the site, they returned to the boat and we began our search. With the wind disturbing the water and the clouds closing in it was rather difficult to see much of anything. Nevertheless, about 45 minutes after we left Bimini Road two of the students spotted something at 3 o'clock! It took…

Our heads are spinning from all the dolphins!

Sunday was another beautiful day on Bimini. Kel and Nicole had planned to have a morning meeting but it was rescheduled so instead, they took care of some other island business (we can’t resist trying to help The Stray Dogs of Bimini!). By 1500 Nicole was ready to head out with the Hunter/Manhattan College group once again. Only 15 minutes into the trip, Dr. Kaplan's wish was granted--we spotted three bottlenose dolphins, including one older calf, and they were crater feeding! We observed this group from the boat for a bit, collecting surface photos of their dorsal fins. Then the student teams were able to take turns doing underwater observations as Dr. K and Dr. M recorded video and acoustics.…

A bottlenose, some spotteds and a beautiful sunset!

Saturday morning found DCP researchers in the office and most of the students exploring the mangroves. At 1500, Nicole and the university group set off on their dolphin search. The ocean was as calm and flat as a lake! It was so flat that it made it much easier to spot the lone bottlenose dolphin that crossed our path less than 20 minutes into our ride. We observed this dolphin from the boat for a few minutes before continuing on our way. For this trip, Dr. Kaplan brought along the coordinates for a spot she had visited 6 years ago. What's so special about this spot? Well, it's over 3 miles from land but there were 2 golf carts on…

Third Time's the Charm

Thursday was a day off the boat for DCP. We used the day to catch up on some data processing and to prepare for some upcoming projects. Friday began with more office work. At 1500 both of us got to join Bimini Adventures' Hunter/Manhattan Colleges group again! It was clear from the beginning that our ride would be much easier--the wind was almost nonexistent! With this in mind, we had high hopes for our dolphin sightings. Sure enough, within the first hour of searching we came across a group of 6 bottlenose dolphins, including one calf and at least one known individual. From the boat we could tell these dolphins were not feeding, which is usually the behavior that indicates…

Déjà vu

Well, on Wednesday Nicole and Kel were both able to join Bimini Adventures’ boat trip, and everyone was hopeful we there would calmer seas and more dolphins. The day started out strong, with a large school of spotted eagle rays not far from the harbor entrance. Everyone got a good look at these graceful critters from the boat. We then continued on and the students were able to snorkel at “3 Sisters,” with the biggest sister nicely tucked in the lee of the Bimini. With optimism we then headed beyond the island, but the seas continued to be rough. The good thing is that the students are all getting used to the wavy conditions! The bad news is that although…

Better luck next time!

Tuesday was a rather uneventful day for us on Bimini. We started the day with the usual office work--writing Monday's field report, photo ID and other such tasks. By 1500 we were ready to climb aboard the boat to head out with Dr. Kaplan, Dr. M and their students once more. Unfortunately, the wind still had not let up and as we got further into our usual route the ride became rougher and rougher. This being the group's third day on the water the students seemed to have gotten used to the bumping and jostling. But we simply couldn’t find any dolphins amongst the waves. Despite hours and hours of searching, broken up by a nice swim break, we did…

The wind can't keep us from finding dolphins!

Monday morning began with a visit to the students for a class on photo identification. Kel presented an in-depth lecture about the methods and uses of photo ID in marine mammal research. This was followed up by hands-on practice so the students could develop their skills using images of some of the Bimini spotted dolphins they will be encountering this week. It was great to watch how quickly they caught on to the intricacies of the task. With the hopes that the day would be less windy than Sunday, we left the dock just after 1500. It soon became clear that, though calmer than yesterday, it would still be a rough ride. So we began our search. And we searched.…

Wind + dolphins makes for a good day!

We are happy to welcome Dr. Daisy Kaplan back to Bimini! This time, she is accompanied by Dr. M and students from Hunter College and Manhattan College. Just after lunch, Kel visiting the group and gave a crash course in still photograph for photo-ID. The students seemed eager to collect useful photographs for DCP! With a warning that the conditions would be windy, we departed the Sea Crest shortly after 1500. We didn’t wait long to give the students their “gear check” swim – the chance to practice getting on and off the boat and to test their masks, fins and snorkels. The group did a great job, especially considering the challenging conditions. We then resumed the search for dolphins,…

Let me tell you something…

Wednesday and Thursday were land-based days for me, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t all about dolphins. On Wednesday I had the pleasure of meeting with the Bimini Adventures group for a casual discussion on DCP, dolphins and my specific observations here off Bimini. The group had fantastic questions; chatting with tourists always re-energizes me for more data collection and analysis! Plus, the group was immensely supportive of DCP – thank you! Thursday began with a younger crowd: the first group of students from Chicago City Day School was aboard the Shedd Aquarium’s Coral Reef II. I have the honor of meeting with CCDS students every summer and as usual, the group impressed me with their knowledge, interest and thoughtful…

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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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