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

Friday, April 15, 2011

Humpback dolphins in 112!

The seas were rough and we were heading home. Choppy conditions had meant for the past two days our usually fertile seas off the coast of Shimoni had produced no clear cetacean sightings whatsoever.

Yesterday was different! After snorkelling two transects in Kisite Marine Park we decided to head home because of worsening conditions. We made our way north, towards Funzi Bay at around 11:30am, the only wildlife we spotted were sea-birds. We changed our course to head west, back towards Wasini Island when our local boat captain spotted a hump moving out of the water. “Humpback Dolphin!!” he yelled. Not 5m from the bow of our boat! In our excitement we rushed to the starboard side of the boat to get a closer look. “Balance the boat” reminded Mike in his thick Scottish accent – a familiar sound!

The pale grey Humpback Dolphin can be elusive, and it was our first sighting in a few weeks

We all got a quick look at the dolphin, the first Humpback sighting of the Expedition, its grey slippery body almost burdened by its ungainly hump from which it draws its name. Typically shy and able to hold its breath to dive for long periods, we were only permitted a short glimpse of this beautiful cetacean before it disappeared underwater. Today, we were again taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of Humpback dolphins beside our boat! We had just finished snorkelling Transect 2 within the Wasini Channel when 3 individuals popped up! We watched the two adults and calf for a short time, recording their dive time and behvaiour before heading back to Mkwiro base.

An adult and calf Humpback dolphin spotted in Wasini Channel

With the weather now improving, we look forward to future sightings of Humpback dolphins and other amazing wildlife living in the incredible part of the world!