29 June 2018

A Taste of Island Life

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A break from boat trips means I get to delve into island life and explore beautiful Bimini. On Wednesday & Thursday, Patrick showed me all the hot spots to purchase my groceries and most importantly, my bread! Such a great little shop down King’s highway called Charlie’s Bread makes the best local bread that leaves your mouth watering for days! Just further down the street is where the grocery store is located, perfect to venture to on a Thursday or Friday when the shipment of food arrives.

Besides the waters offshore Bimini where the dolphins swim, there is so much to explore just in my backyard! A snorkel swim just around the rock jetty outside my cottage welcomes a whole world filled with small critters. Wednesday’s snorkel included a couple shrimp hiding amongst the rocks, bright red crabs wedged between two pieces of coral, stingrays, and flounders hiding in the sand with two eyes bulging out peering at the snorkelers. After the snorkel, it was back to office work, organizing photographs for bottlenose dolphins and learning more and more IDs for the spotted dolphins!

The exploration doesn’t stop there; Thursday morning I was able to hop aboard Neal Watson’s dive boat for a two tank dive off the coast of South Bimini. There we did a shallow dive on Military Bay where we saw a big scorpion fish camouflaged against the rocks and coral and some stingrays! The next dive, however, was by far my favorite. It was a shallow shark dive where ten Caribbean Reef sharks circled the waters looking for a snack! But no worries, these sharks were not looking for any humans to munch on, but instead would scatter away if you swam too close. The sharks were so beautiful and majestic to look at, and some as long as 6 feet, that I never wanted to come out of the water. Sadly, the time came to depart the shark dive and I was the last one to get back on the boat. Once back on land, it was time to ride my bicycle home to meet up with Patrick and get back to dolphin photo IDs and organizing! I can’t wait to see what the next days of island exploration will hold!

Cheers!

-Nat (2018 Intern)

Kelly Melillo Sweeting

Kel is DCP's Bimini Research Manager, and all around awesome scientist.

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