Today was a fantastic day for data collection. I had three entries/observation sessions with the male dolphins. Yes, all the male dolphins. Okay, all except for Cacique, one year old calf to Nina.I was able to observe McGyver and Jake, Stormy and Andy, and Goombay, Shawn and Salvador in three distinct cliques that would also overlap a bit. That is, Sal would hang out sometimes with Stormy and Andy and sometimes with just McGyver.
I also documented much rubbing behavior - pec fin to body rubs and body to body rubs. It seemed to me that the best-friendships were sort of set among these males but that they also liked all of the other males in the group and occasionally hung out with other buddies. So to speak, anyway.
Like yesterday, I was able to get into Pool 3 at ~9:40 am. The visibility was still really good and the males all around. Goombay was VERY inquisitive of my fins and buzzed me repeatedly. Andy and Stormy made a few passes at me ... in fact, during the second session at about noon, the little cliques seemed to take turns passing me around. They'd show curiosity by directly approaching me and clicking on me, let me follow a bit and then move out of view. Just as the first group moved out of view, a second came up behind me. I began to wonder who was watch whom!
The third entry proved to me that the boys had habituated to me. They paid me almost no mind. Only a few passes by the most curious of dolphins, Goombay. I hope to get in with them tomorrow to continue to collect as much as possible on this group of male dolphins as a group. They spend evenings together, so ... getting to see them interact is a benefit.
The photo is an elevated view of Pool #3 with three of the male dolphins visible.