Lucky for me the day was slow for DE and I was able to get in the water at 9:30 this morning. I was in pool 3 with all the boys - Jake, McGyver, Andy, Stormy, Goombay, Shawn, and Salvador. The session was a boon! I documented much rubbing behavior and lots of whistles.

Besides having a good social grouping of bottlenose dolphins to observe, the underwater visibility was fantastic at greater than 5 m. It was clear and so was the sky. Not a ripple on the surface except when the dolphins swam near the surface.

Jake and McGyver spent much time together and engaged in their signature upside down swims. Salvador, the youngest in this group, spent a good amount of time next to McGyver in baby position. I also was able to document Stormy and Andy rubbing each others bodies with their pec fins; they alternated the action as they swam next to each other. I believe they were strengthening their friendship.

Goombay seemed to delight in swimming circles around me and spent a good amount of time behind me ... almost like my nephew who believes I cannot tell he is near when he stands immediately behind me giggling.  

Shawn is the cleanest in the group - that is, he has the least amount of rake marks or other scars from among the young dolphins. I recognized him on this entry by a process of elimination.  I would identify all the scars that I knew, and if none were found, then I knew I was watching Shawn!

I lost track of time and collected 32 minutes of data! I ran the tape out. After exiting the water, I checked with Duke to see when I could get in again and with which group of dolphins. He said I could get in right away with Princess, Abaco, Chippy and Gussie Mae (Chippy's 1 yr old). It took me 10 min to change the tape and get re-geared up. :-) I was on a roll. 

Pool 3, with the boys, was in direct sunlight. Pool 4, with the girls, is not. It has a shady area and a sunny area. The water was a bit glary from the sun and a bit more stirred up. Also, the girls liked to stay in the shady area. The water was chilly, but my morning swim did not affect me as this second one. I was able to get 20 min of video before the tourists arrived and I had to get out. I was shivering ... but a hot shower was in the offing. :-)

Still a good amount of data were gathered: Abaco and Princess were curious and passed by me a few times reacquainting them selves with my green camera. Chippy and Gussie Mae stayed a bit further away, though Gussie Mae tried to get close a few times and mom watched her closely.  

The photo with this report is of me getting out onto a floating platform from Pool 3 after the first observation session. One of my buddies kept close watch on my exit. 

Tomorrow's day begins early and hopefully with the same early entry.



Kathleen at DE with MVA and dolphin

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