Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, March 8, 2010

Marine Views

It looked like the makings of a beautiful day on the Indian Ocean, the sun was shining, the water was as smooth as glass and everyone was in good spirits.
As the day starts we decide to head west along the Wasini Channel towards Tanzania waters, with the hopes of finding Humpback dolphins. Not long after starting we saw the dorsal fin of a dolphin at the distance. Full steam ahead Shaffi (our captain) we yelled. As we approached we notice the beautiful fin and the distinctive hump of the Humpback dolphin. A few photos later and some prime dolphin watching (the photos will be used to make an identification catalogue of Indo Pacific Humpback dolphins.

Indo Pacific Humpback dolphin

We headed to snorkelling transect 9, and as we all jumped in and headed off down the transect we heard someone shout “Turtle” so we all swim over to see the beak and the characteristic prefrontal scales in the head which are the tell tale sign of the Hawksbill turtles. We continued to swim down the transect and saw not one, but five more turtles! Amazing and important sightings of this endangered species that are finding refugee and food in this marine park.

Two Hawksbill turtles in Kisite Reef

Then all off a sudden Chelsea sees a Reef shark. So Chelsea and myself swam closer to see two beautiful black tipped reef sharks patrolling the area. So by the end of the day our turtle sightings amounted to 2 Green turtles which included our resident Green turtle “Tripod”, named so because he only has three flippers) and four Hawksbill turtles.

We finished the next transect spotting one more Hawksbill turtle and a Blue Spotted Ray. Hopefully, the data we are collecting will contribute to a sustainable management ad conservation of this beautiful ecosystem. . It was a beautiful day in the ocean, teeming with life – what more could one ask for!

Blue Spotted Ray

Chris, GVI Kenya Conservation intern