Yesterday was a great day on the water & I was able to capture several photographs of Bimini's bottlenose dolphins.  Included was Tt15 (Capital T is for Tursiops, lowercase t is for truncatus - combined, that's the scientific name) and 15 is for well, the 15th bottlenose dolphin we ID's here in Bimini.  After about 20 minutes with the bottlenose group, we decided to continue north in search of spotteds...

 

Read more: A bottlenose + spotted day

Today was a long day – but a good one.  I was able to catch up on a backlog of DCP work, cram in a few domestic chores and spend a great afternoon on the water.  We saw dolphins fairly early again, including Finn (#09), Romeo (#10), White Blotch (#29), Lil’ Jess (#35), Cerra (#38), Lone Star (#56), Stefran (#82), un-named #79 and #84.  We also got a very quick glimpse from the boat of the injured calf that we first saw on Friday.  The calf still has quite a bit of healing to do, but it is also still keeping up with mom.  Oh – and did I mention that throughout our spotted dolphin observations, there were numerous bottlenose dolphins swimming in & out of the group?  Oh, well, there were!!  It was great.  I think that I will be able to ID several, perhaps some for the first time.

 

So, that’s it for me, for now!  I may be offline for a few days, but stayed tuned for more reports from DCP’s Bimini field site!

 

-Kel

 

Yesterday was my 250th Dolphin Trip!!! 3 of our 5 eco-tour guests were able to head out for a morning dolphin trip.  We were sad to see our other 2 go (we missed you two!) but, it was great to be back out with the dolphin grounds.  And – there were plenty of them to go around!  We were able to observe White Blotch (#29), Lone Star (#56) and un-named #79.  Unfortunately, there was also a calf who had suffered a pretty nasty peduncle injury.  At first glance, this may be from an unfortunate run-in with a boat prop, but I’ll have to review the video before I’m sure.  Fortunately, the calf seemed to be healing well & although it may have been a bit bothered by the injury was keeping up with its mother just fine.

 

Click on Read More to hear about today's trip!

  Read more: A milestone day starts a couple of great dolphin days

I must commend this group of eco-tour passengers for being in such good spirits after such a windy & rainy week.  It seems that our Monday dolphin swim is a faint memory, but I do hope that everyone enjoyed it.  We occupied our time by watching dolphin videos and today, visiting the South Bimini Biological Field Station (aka SharkLab).  I think everyone really enjoyed the insightful tour & I gratefully thank the folks over there for taking the time to show us around.  We learned all about the species found in Bimini, the impact of large development & on-going lemon shark studies, pet an endangered Bimini Boa and got up close & personal with a year-old lemon shark & two large southern stingrays....It was great! 

 

Tomorrow some of our guests depart & some will be hoping for calm seas for a morning boat trip.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

-Kel

 

This morning (Monday) the eco-tour passengers & I met for our morning get-together.  We started with some lifeguarding information for the boat trips and then went into some background about DCP and Bimini’s dolphins.  Finally, it was a quick swim on the beach to gives folks a chance to get acquainted with the MVA2.

  Read more: A happy trip

Sunday was the start of DCP’s inaugural eco-tour at our Bimini field site.  Everyone arrived, but the majority had to deal with long airport delays.  Unfortunately, this meant that our first dolphin trip was a no-show.  Tomorrow will be a sort of introductory morning and then the dolphin trip that we have all been waiting for.

 

In the meantime, I’d like to offer another big shout-out to the Bodine Bulldogs!  I hope you are off to a start with camp.  I’m sure you’ve been reading all about dolphins and hopefully discovering new & exciting things.  Click on the read more button: Can you answer any of these questions?  If not, a guide to where to find the answer is in parentheses.  And, a reminder to everyone else out there – feel free to play along!  Of course, stay tuned all week to read about our dolphin adventures! 

 

Until next time,

Kel

 

Read more: A big welcome to the 2008 Bimini Eco-Tour passengers!

Warning #2: No one was hurt.

A small plane unfortunately crashed off the coast of Bimini on MKel and downed planeonday afternoon.  Fortunately, the only person onboard, the pilot, was unharmed.  So, with the news of his safety, there was a subtle dash to the new snorkel sight – before the salvage company takes it away.  The plane is in astonishingly good shape, which makes it all look a bit eerie.  Here is a picture of me investigating the cockpit door:  

Hi all!  Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  Life in Bimini has slowed down in the last few weeks, but that has given me much needed time to catch up on some office-type tasks, including searching & applying for grants as well as preparing for DCP’s Bimini eco-tour that begins on Sunday.  Check back then for updates on how our week is going!

I’d also like to say a big DCP hello to the Bodine Bulldogs at the Bodine Summer Reading Camp!  HELLO!  They’ll be spending time learning about dolphins over the next month.  Through the field reports, I’ll be directing them to particular areas of this website.  Everyone else out there is welcome to play along!

 

Read more: Long time, no write

Yesterday was a day-mostly-off & I headed out for a quick boat ride with friends.  The seas were a bit rough, but we were surprised by a group of 5 bottlenose dolphin right outside of the Bimini harbor!  We observed them from the boat for a bit, while I had the chance to exercise DCP’s new digital SLR camera.  This camera allows me to capture still images of bottlenose dorsal fins as they break the surface of the water, which in turns allows me to track these dolphins over time through photo-identification.  We know less about the Bimini bottlenose dolphins than the Atlantic spotteds, but we’re learning more all tTt14_Biminihe time.  We have 24 bottlenose dolphins documented; and yesterday we saw bottlenose ID14 (pictured) among others.  I’m very excited to continue adding to our fledging photo-ID catalog as the summer progresses!  Thanks to all of DCP supporters whose generosity allows us to purchase the tools necessary to learn (and teach) more about these animals!

Until next time,

Kel

Saturday’s impromptu dolphin trip was interesting, to say the very least.  We left the dock (with DCP research associate Darcie Blanding with us!) shortly before 1630, watching the skies fill with dark clouds.  We saw dolphins relatively quickly and had an amazing underwater observation.  Present were Tina (#14), Split Jaw (#22), Niecey (#48, pictured and possibly with her calf), un-named #78 and #25 with swollen mammaries and a small calf!  This is likely #25’s first calf, so it was very exciting for all of us.  After about 30 minutes under waNiecey's head, Trip 15 2008ter, we were called back to the boat because a storm was rolling in.  We got caught in some rain, but beat the lightning and thunder and were back to the dock safely before 1900.

The next few weeks may be a bit slow in terms of boat time, but hopefully impromptu trips like this will pop up! 

Until then,

Kel

 

Yesterday was nice as the winds had finally calmed, but the dolphins certainly tested our patience.  We saw a group of 3 adults just before sunset.  They had some mild interest in the boat, but seemed to be traveling slowly south.  We were able to watch them for nearly 30 minutes and the passengers got a quick glimpse underwater.  Now things slow down a bit in terms of boat time, so I’ll be spending time going through video, sorting photos, etc.  I’ll let you know what I find!

Until then,

Kel

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