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

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A thousand silvery spears

Amazing encounter last week. Let's keep in mind the circumstances. On a choppy sea, chasing a humpback whale, under a heavy sun... and suddenly, the waters all around the boat, in all four directions until the horizon, were thriving with around a thousand spinner dolphins.

Example of what could be seen in all four directions
For more than an hour, we simply stared at the spectacle of nature around us. The dolphins surfing at the bow of the boat, the synchronization of dozens of dolphins jumping out of the water at the same time, the games among them and the absolutely amazing spins that give the name to this particular species. We took around a thousand photos of this enormous school, and even our captain, Faridi, was stunned into silence with amazement, as it was the first time he saw this kind of dolphin.
Close shot of the spinner dolphins jumping out of the water, few meters away from the boat.

For all those who have never heard of this species before, here we have a little background. Spinner dolphins are a pelagic species (they live in open waters), and hence not that frequently seen. They are characterized by forming enormous schools of up to 3000 individuals, and by the spins they perform jumping out of the waters. They are about between a meter to a meter and a half long, and show a beatuiful pattern of stripes in different tonalities of grey.

It was the perfect closing for a week that had been, in all aspects, absolutely outstanding.