Our day began early with a data collection session at 6:30 AM. The DRTs were mostly awake on our taxi boat trek to Bailey’s Key … but were soon wide-awake when we were greeted by Gracie, Cedeña, Ritchie and Hector. The other dolphins were in to their own stuff in the center of the pool.
We had two data collection sessions today and the DRTs were right on with logging data. They also got to play a bit with the dolphins when they interacted by butting the kids’ feet with their rostrums. Dolphins can be VERY tempting.
I recorded much activity from the dolphins during both sessions – lots of whistles and staccato noises with and without bubble streams. There were several pec fin exchanges and lots of body rubbing. I am fairly confident that I recognize Mika, Ronnie, Bill, Ken, all the adult females, Margarita, Dixon, Hector, Ritchie, Fiona, Bailey and Paya. I am still working on the new scars and marks on French and Maury. But, I’ll get there. Each DRT is also working on recognizing their particular dolphin – for ID.
Our afternoon (after the second data collection session and lunch) was spent in a coral talk from Jennifer and then a boat snorkel to “Hole in the Wall”. I learned lots about the corals as well. E.g., the soft corals are actually called “octocorals”. Hole in the Wall literally had a few holes in the corals that we could swim through – almost everyone had fun trying their hand at breath holding and swimming through the holes. Very NEAT.
Tomorrow is our dolphin swim/encounter and night snorkel. Another full day.
Kathleen & the DRT team