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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Despite the rains...

Today was the kick off to our second week on Marine and we had high hopes and a long list of animals we were eager to see. No sooner had we manned our look out positions for dedicated search on Bardan, when a pod of 15 Bottlenose dolphins surrounded us. The crew quickly pulled together, grabbed the sightings forms and started jotting down behaviour and snapping pictures.

Bow riding, peduncle dives, body slaps, rubbing, foraging, pink bellies and … dolphin sex?! We stayed with the pod for about half an hour, cooing over the tiny calves and the good natured playing, before continuing on towards Kisite. Suddenly the skies darkened and we were drenched in the tropical rains, but before long the clouds cleared away to reveal the hot African sun. We dove into the clear turquoise ocean and snorkelled a colourful coral reef.

Energetic Bottlenose dolphins forage on the surface in Wasini Channel

In especially good spirits we swam through the warm Indian Ocean, following the leader’s bobbing buoy along one of our daily snorkel transects. The different corals overlap to create beautiful hiding places for countless reef fish. Vast schools of pink, yellow and blue fish swam around us, and even a cunning octopus came out of hiding beneath our wide eyes.

Two Bottlenose dolphins 'rubbing' bodies as a sign of affection
After the snorkel we piled back into our boat and wrapped up to dry off in the sunshine on the journey back to base. Upon return we were greeted by a delicious lunch! It was both a rewarding and exciting day on Marine that we couldn’t wait to share with our family and friends back home!