Unfortunately, the dolphin trips scheduled for Sunday & Monday were both cancelled with west winds 20 knots+.  Things calmed down enough on Tuesday for a look in the dolphin grounds.  First we had a quick glimpse of a lone juvenile bottlenose dolphin and then we followed a group of 5 spotted dolphins.  There were 2 adults, 1 sub-adult, 1 young juvenile (un-named #84) and 1 calf.  We had a very quick glimpse of them underwater but mostly they were interested in surfing the waves.  We thought that they were acting a bit sporadic as well & wondered why...Then, suddenly we saw...

  Read more: A rough start to the week, but things are calming down

Wednesday’s dolphin trip was a bit more rough than Tuesday, but we still got a good look at some bottlenose dolphins.  On Thursday, we were able watch Finn (#09) and Romeo (#10) who teased us for over an hour!  They played with the boat, they played with the humans, stayed just out of sight, played with the boat, played with the humans, stayed just out of sight, played with the boat...well, I think you get the idea.  On Friday, the dolphin week ended with spotted dolphins galore and quick hello from 2 curious bottlenose dolphins!

  Read more: A Good, Busy Week Ends with a Quiet Day

This morning was busy, catching up on neglected email before heading out in search of dolphins.  The winds were finally calm; it felt like summer!  The sea was picture perfect flat as I looked overboard counting the sea stars on the seafloor.  Then, at approximately 1530, I saw them.  At 11 o’clock dorsal fins broke the surface.  As we headed toward them, we were greeted by Split Jaw (#22), a young juvenile and, I think, Tim (#69).  As they rode the bow, we were soon surrounded by bottlenose dolphins.  The two species did not appear to interact, but I was able to record a few minutes of bottlenose video.  Later in the day, we observed a large group of spotted adults (and sub-adult Lil’ Jess - #35!) both from the boat and underwater.  I have a lot of ID work ahead me!  But first, another dolphin trip tomorrow!

Until then,

Kel

 

I’ve just returned to Bimini from a weekend in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas.  The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization put together a weekend workshop for the newly formed Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.  There were representatives from 8 Bahamian islands – all people who want to be prepared should a marine mammal strand on their shores.  We touched on how the stranding network fits into the Bahamas Marine Mammal Protection Act, how our hotline and contact trees will work, the importance of stranding response, an introduction to the great stranding kits we’ll all soon have and participated in necropsy demonstrations.  My brain is saturated!

  Read more: Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Network

By Wednesday afternoon the wind picked up out of the north, meaning that we were left unprotected as we went in search of dolphins...By Thursday the wind was even stronger and only slightly more easterly.  The seas had been building so we spent less & less time in prime dolphin sighting areas.

  Read more: Rough, slow days

Ah, another wonderful day at sea with Bimini’s local dolphins.  We saw a group of spotted dolphins at 1655 – eight of them.  Included in this group were Tina (#14), Niecey (#48 – and calf?), Nemo (#76), Leslie (#80), unnamed #86 (nicknamed Yarmulke or Pinwheel, depending on my mood) and possibly #87.  There was an uninterested, but large nurse shark cruising below as well.  The group included at least two calves and we even saw #86 nursing hers.  He already has a few of his first spots, so hopefully once it is time to review the video, we’ll have a new dolphin in our catalog!

  Read more: Bring on the mothers & calves...
28 April 2008

Now today was more like it!  Calm seas, cool wind and plenty of dolphins.  First, we saw a group of about five coastal bottlenose dolphins.  I didn’t recognize any of them right away and stayed onboard to observe them from the surface while the guests went in to get an underwater view.  After about 20 minutes we went off in search of spotteds...

  Read more: This is what I
27 April 2008

It’s the start of the first official “dolphin week” of 2008.  Onboard Bill & Nowdla Keefe’s Bimini Undersea, we headed out into some rough waters.  Nothing unsafe, but not quite the calm turquoise Bahamian waters I’ve come to know & love.

  Read more: Dolphin Season 2008 Has Officially Begun!

Today’s dolphin trip was a bit bumpier than I’d hoped, but it was still great to be out looking for the Bimini dolphins.  The forecast originally called for a blissful 5-10 mph wind, but that turned into the high end of 10-15.  We spent the 95% of the trip looking at the waves and whitecaps, hoping for a dorsal fin or maybe even a leap. 

Read more: If you
After discussing the recent mystery-dolphin observations, and sharing photos with other cetacean researchers in the Bahamas, the verdict is in.  The 4 “weird” bottlenose dolphins observed off Bimini last week were....(drum roll please) Read more: Collaborative science makes me smile

We typically aren't in Bimini during March and April, so everything about the last month has been atypical.  But then, the phone rang yesterday morning with reports ofstrange dolphin dolphins south of Bimini...dolphins that just "seemed weird."  So, we packed a quick lunch and headed out to find...

 

Read more: Some atypical bottlenose dolphin observations

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