Posted by: Doc Bruce | August 24, 2009

Dolphins, Dolphins Everywhere

This week it was dolphins, dolphins and more dolphins at Sanibel Sea School. We played echo-location – the Sanibel Sea School version of Marco-Polo. We played capture the fish, we went on dolphin walks, we talked a lot about how dolphins live and hunt their prey. While avoiding the common thunderstorms, we made dolphin flags, we created skits about life under the sea, and we made finger puppets to represent our favorite sea creatures.

In keeping with the tradition of Sanibel Sea School, we not only had fun, but we also learned a lot about Bottlenose Dolphins. For example, we leaned that adult dolphins weigh between 330 and 1400 pounds, and that an average adult weighs in around 700 pounds. And, that same adult will typically consume 5% of its body weight in prey- mostly fishes per day – that’s 35 pounds of fish per day.

We also learned that scientists believe dolphins might just be smarter than humans, and that just because they always appear to be wearing a smile, they are not always happy. We talked about the Marine Mammal Act and how it protects dolphins.

One of the highlights of the week was a cruise aboard the Stars and Stripes from Sanibel Marina led by Captain Joe to watch dolphins cavort in the wake. And cavort they did – you have never really experienced total euphoria and unabated joy unless you have been immersed in the cacophony of seventeen young ocean explorers as they squeal with delight about dolphin antics.

And, of course, what would a week of summer camp in the ocean be without plenty of snorkeling. We explored the sand bar called Little Sanibel, just east of the high span bridge. There, we found flounder, horseshoe crabs, spider crabs, giant lightning whelks and hundred of cute little hermit crabs. We caught juvenile Lookdown and Pompano in the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, and we surfed every day in the small waves on the east end.

It was a busy and full week for the little camp on the east end of the island. We were busy learning, growing and having good old-fashion fun in the ocean. We were busy becoming the new generation of ocean stewards – Generation Blue.

It takes a village to raise a child, and a community to produce Sanibel Sea School’s Summer Camp. We are grateful to the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club who helps support students through scholarships.. Dan Hahn Custom Builder supports our summer program. Bailey’s General Store quenches our thirst on these hot days with lots of ice. Billy’s Bikes keeps us in cardboard from which we build life size models to really understand how big a dolphin is. To all these folks and the countless others, we are grateful.

Check us out at sanibel sea school and see lots more pictures of dolphin week.

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