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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The dolphins return!

This morning we woke up at 6 30, had breakfast and by 7 45 we were out on the water. For us newbies it was our second day out on the boat doing Marine research; but we had been told that over the past couple of weeks Bottlenose dolphin sightings had been rare and short-lived, with rumours they had travelled to Zanzibar on holiday! It was a beautiful sunny day and we managed to get to the farthest island in the Marine protected Area (Kisite) and do snorkelling on Transect 7. We saw 70 cm parrot fish, shoals of trumpet fish and hundreds of other species literally every few meters.

--Our boat is surrounded by up to 30 dolphins--

We started heading back already pleased with our day. After an hour or so searching from the boat we head Shafii, the boat Captain shout: “Dolphin! Dolphin! ” At first we only saw 2, then 7...then 9...15...25!! Finally we were surrounded by over 30 bottlenose dolphins. The calves came up and swam around the boat, as curious about us as we were about them. They would bow ride in front of the boat for a while before diving back into the ocean and out of sight. The final treat was when we spotted three Humpback Dolphins mixed in with the Bottlenose. After following them for 40 min or so we stopped and had lunch surrounded by beautiful islands. We got back around 2pm and everyone who wasn’t with us wished they had been.

--The dolphins were highly active socialising and bow riding--

This was my first day as Survey Leader and I had a really fantastic time. We were exceptionally lucky and hopefully we’ll be able to catch them again before the end of the week; everyone is very excited that the dolphins have 'returned'!