BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS IN ABACO WATERS (PART 1)
This seems to be a excellent early Spring for dolphin and whale sightings in Abaco waters. I’ve noticed that people have been posting dolphin sightings on FB recently. In our brief window of opportunity each March, I usually reckon to see 2 or 3 dolphins at most – maybe crossing over to Hope Town on the ferry, or more probably on a fishing trip. This year we saw 2 groups of about 6 off Cherokee while fishing, including calves. On another day, 4 adults made a leisurely progress the whole length of Rolling Harbour while we watched from the balcony of the Delphi Club. I don’t think they have ever been so close to the shore there before. The best was to come.
Near the end of our trip Charlotte Dunn and Diane Claridge invited us to go out with them on the BMMRO research boat. This is equipped with a hydrophonic system that can detect the bleeps, whistles and clicks of cetaceans, and record them for comparison with previous data. This enables particular animals to be identified from their vocalisations. The other method is to note particular features of an animal – damage to a fin, markings on the flank and so on. During the day C & D happily conversed in code: “Is that 132 over there?” “No, it’s got a nick in the fluke, it must be 127…”
As we returned in the RHIB from an amazing day spent at close quarters with beaked whales [more on these soon], we moved from deep dark blue ocean to sandy turquoise shallows. There, just off Rocky Point (near BMMRO HQ at Sandy Point) were half a dozen bottlenose dolphins, including a mother and calf. This post contains a small batch of photos of adults – there’ll be another post shortly featuring the calf…
Here’s a taster for the next post – the calf, just visible close alongside its mother, was being given leaping practice. Watch this blog…
All photos RH. Huge thanks to Charlotte, Diane and Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation BMMRO for a truly wonderful day (and for my cool sweatshirt!)
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We have bottle nose dolphins in the Moray the most northerly location – they are much larger due to the extra body to keep warm in the somewhat cooler conditions 🙂
Scott, in the past we’ve taken a boat from Avoch to find dolphins off Chanonry point – wonderful! And we’ve watched a large pod from the beach at Speymouth… You’re in another perfect place for watching them!!!
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Chanonry especially is very easy to see them
Wonderful post! It was one of the great thrills of our time here to see a pod of dolphins (3 to 4) on March 20 off Tilloo Cay, just north of the sandbar. We are still in the Bahamas so would love to see more before we go, but if not I’m happy.
Glad you liked them, Sherry. I’m following your FB / photos – looks as though you are having a great trip. I’ll pass on your sighting to BMMRO. Hope you see more! RH
Gotta love dolphins!
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Very cool post RH! What a treat to see these beauties, and with calves too! Looks absolutely awesome. Looking forward to Part 2! 😀
It was a wonderful experience, to get so close in a low-sided boat. Just wait till you see the whales (when I have time to sort through the pics…) RH