Today’s trip did not disappoint. The boat passengers enjoyed another snorkel at the Bimini Road. But, soon, it was time to search for dolphins. We were lucky enough to come upon a group of Atlantic spotted dolphins at 1803. There were at least 4 individuals; I think that Freckles (#15) and Cleopatra (#41) were in the group with two youngsters, but I’ll need to confirm when reviewing video. After approximately 15 minutes observing the group under water, off they went. As we traveled back toward Bimini, we kept our eyes open, hoping for more dolphins (not to be greedy ;-). And guess what?! We saw another, larger group at 19:05. Included in this group were Lone Star (#56), Stefran (#82), un-named #92 (believed to be the calf of Niecey #48). It is possible that Cerra (#38) was in the group along with several calves. What a great week! 

More trips soon,

Kel

Bimini09_Sf_Trip53On Monday the group headed out and began their dolphin trip with a snorkel at Bimini Road, aka Atlantis. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, but they were most excited for dolphins. We searched and searched, but unfortunately, we did not see any dolphins....Although disappointed, we all agreed that it was a beautiful boat ride and looked forward to another trip.

So, on Tuesday the boat headed out a slightly earlier. And – we were not disappointed! We saw scattered spotted dolphins early and were thrilled to watch as they leapt through the air in pursuit of prey. We didn’t see exactly what kind of fish they were, but soon, the feast was over and it was time to observe the group underwater. All of the people had a nice interaction with the dolphins, which included Lumpy (#17), Lone Star (#56) and un-named (#91). For my part, I was able to confirm that ID#91 is in fact female! We also got a quick glimpse of Lil' Jess (#35) on the bow of the boat.

 Until next time,

Kel

Sunday morning began with a heartfelt goodbye to Vicki and Alexis. They are now back in the US, safe and sound. Thank you ladies! As the day progressed, I prepped for a 1500 dolphin trip, but it was pushed back until nearly 1700. This week’s passengers are excited for dolphins (who isn’t?!) and this afternoon they got their feet wet at Bimini’s 3 Sister rocks. The delay did not leave much time to search for dolphins, but here’s to hoping for lots of dolphins as the week goes on!

Until then,

Kel

Saturday morning started with excitement, but it was far away from dolphins. Twenty contestants from the Miss Universe contest arrived on Bimini. They were greeted by natives, tourists, junkanoo and a marching band. It was a great celebration! The women (Miss Great Britain, Russia, Georgia, El Salvador, Singapore, France, Spain...just to name a few) were presented with Bimini09_Tt_Trip50gifts from the island before their island tour, filled, no-doubt, with photo-ops. I think it was a nice way for Vicki and Alexis to say goodbye to Bimini! 

But, no goodbyes before dolphin trip #50 of 2009! We headed out shortly after 1600, scanning, searching and hoping for dolphins. There it was – a blow. Seeing the blow left us confident we were approaching bottlenose dolphins as it is more unusual to see the blow of spotteds. Sure enough, a group of at least 8 bottlenose dolphins were scattered about. The boat passengers, Alexis and Vicki all had the chance to observe the group under water while I stayed aboard taking surface photographs of the dolphins’ dorsal fins. There are lots of photographs to process; I miss the interns already! 

Back on land, we had a nice final dinner together. I cannot believe how quickly the month has flown by – but I think (hope!) Vicki and Alexis enjoyed their time with DCP. If you are college-aged and interested in a field internship with DCP, stay tuned for application details later this fall. 

Until tomorrow,

Kel

Friday’s dolphin trip once again only had one research space available, so Kel headed out solo. We left the dock earlier than usual and everyone was happy to be moving, generating some breeze on yet another very hot day. It was quite sunny out and while we hoped this would help in our search for spotted dolphins, we did not see any spotted dolphins. What we did see was a BIG dolphin leap. Unfortunately, we did not see anything more of that animal. A short time later four bottlenose dolphins surfaced near the boat. It appeared to be two mother/calf pairs. Off the top of my head, this may be the first time I (Kel) have ever seen that group composition here in Bimini. They were not too interested in the boat, but hopefully we can make some IDs from the surface photographs. 

Alexis and Vicki have been busy finishing up their data projects, but also enjoying their last days on Bimini. Stay tuned for their final field report tomorrow! 

-Kel, Vicki & Alexis

Bimini 2009 Juliette's calfThis morning was data, email and program development filled. This afternoon, I had to leave the Vicki & Alexis on land as there was only one research space available on the boat. Today’s lesson: patience. We dodged a large rain squall and regularly asked the sun to come out so that we could more easily see the dolphins when they arrived. But, even though that didn’t happen, the dolphins still found us! In the group of four were Juliette (#12), her calf (#93), Tilly (#87) and un-named #91. It was so late in the day that the still camera could not manage too many pictures, but in this silhouette you can see #93’s scarred pectoral fin. 

Tomorrow is hopefully a mostly-day-off with a dolphin to follow on Saturday!

-Kel, Alexis & Vicki

Today was a hot one!  We left the harbor right at 1600 and were off to find some dolphins.  The boat ride out was a rather calm one with lots of flying fish to keep us company along the way.  We stopped at 1724 to jump in the water and cool off so we could continue the search.   Sightings in the last few trips have been kind of late so when we hadn’t seen any dolphins by 1800 we weren’t worried.  Then, all of a sudden, right at the bow of the boat a group of 8 dolphins showed up including Tina (#14), Stefran (#82), a dolphin we think could have been Cerra (#38) and un-named #43.  But the most excitement came when a very young calf, which Kel estimates at just a couple months old, was spotted within the group.  We followed them in the boat for about 15 min before attempting an encounter.  The first encounter attempt was at 1824 and without dolphins in view.  So, everybody climbed back on the boat and we went to find the dolphins again.  They were spotted a short time later at 1839 and the guests were put back in the water to try again.  This time they caught a couple fly by glimpses before the dolphins took off again!  This time they were gone for good and so were we.  The boat pulled into the harbor at 2003.  The next trip is scheduled for Saturday. 

Hoping for more underwater time with the dolphins next trip!

Vicki, Alexis, and Kel

Bimini2009_StingrayToday began with a nice talk on the R/V Coral Reef II to a group of very inquisitive middle school students from Chicago on DCP, our goals as an organization, and the local population of Bimini dolphins. After a great talk and lots of good questions we were invited to eat lunch with them and talk more about dolphins and how we got to be in this field of research. We returned to our apartment to do more data entry before our dolphin trip in the afternoon, only to find out our dolphin trip was canceled, due to some sick guests. But don’t fret; we got invited to go feed stingrays at honeymoon harbor instead! So of course we agreed to this. At 2:30 we headed out on the boat and swung south to Gun Cay’s honeymoon harbor where we snorkeled to the island and proceeded to hand feed somewhere between 4-5 stingrays including a baby! After about 2 hours of feeding the stingrays, snorkeling around the island, and just enjoying the sun we snorkeled back to the boat and headed home. To our surprise, we spotted a small group of bottlenose dolphins a couple of minutes before entering Bimini’s harbor. (Apparently they just couldn’t wait to see us and were sad we didn’t take a trip out, so they came and found us! Ha!) Of course Kel being the good researcher that she is quickly grabbed her camera and got a couple still photos of their dorsal fins. After a few minutes watching the dolphins and taking some pictures we had to say goodbye and continued our way home. Overall it was a surprising, but wonderful day! 

Hopefully our next dolphin trip (maybe Saturday) will be as wonderful! 

Alexis, Vicki, and Kel

We won't have a boat trip in Bimini today so we'll spend the afternoon indoors logging video for IDs and pectoral fin contact. Our fingers are crossed for a dolphin trip on Tuesday - don't forget, if you want to visit with Bimini's dolphins, check out our May 2010 eco-tour package!

We’ve been spending our time on land getting lots of data processed, including still photos, general video logging, pec fin contact logging and data entry. After a few days on land, we were ready to be on the boat. It was nice and breezy for today’s dolphin trip.  We pulled out of the harbor and were on our way around 1615.  Thanks to the wind there were decent waves, which made for an interesting boat ride out.  The bottlenose showed up around 1756 and we were able to watch them from the boat for about 15 min before they were on their way.  We continued on course and came across at least six spotteds at 1854, including Finn (#09), Romeo (#10), Tina (#14), possibly Niecey (#48) and un-named #43.  This is where the fun began!  We got in the water at 1903 and they all took off!  So we all got back on the boat and followed them until 1919 when we got in the water again.  They, again, took off almost as soon as we entered the water as if to say “just kidding” and we again got back on the boat. It looked like this time they were gone for good so we continued to go back to the harbor.  We got back around 2014, with two sightings and two encounter attempts to show for the day. Hopefully next time they’ll swim with us! 

More updates after our next trip,

 

Vicki, Alexis and Kel

Today started out pretty promising seeing bottlenose dolphins early on in our trip. We saw 2 at 1702 not too far off from shore and Kel got to take some shots of their dorsal fins. After seeing the bottlenose our spirits were lifted and we were on a search for more dolphins. We headed further out and after about an hour and a half of no sightings we decided to take a swim break to cool off and regroup. After our little break we turned back around and headed in toward shore a little, hoping we would find some more dolphins. Meanwhile, in search of more dolphins we got to see a water spout (a water tornado) form but (luckily) not make complete contact with the ocean, which helped keep us on our toes when things were looking down. An hour or so after our swim break, with rain looming right in front of us, we were about to give up on finding more dolphins when out of nowhere two spotteds appeared!!! At 1940, we saw Niecey (#48) and her calf (#92) and watched them bow ride with us for almost 15 minutes. The guests hopped in for a short encounter, while we (Kel, Alexis, and Vicki) stayed on the boat. After everyone was back on board we continued in toward shore and the dolphins stayed with us for another 5 minutes. 

Next boat trip isn’t for a couple days, but hopefully we will have nice weather and lots of dolphins! 

Alexis, Vicki, and Kel

Contact Us

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

THE DOLPHIN COMMUNICATION PROJECT CHARITABLE SOLICITATION NUMBER CH42894, MEETS ALL REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE FLORIDA SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, OR 850-410-3800 WHEN CALLING OUTSIDE THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Connect with us

Join us on Facebook