We love The Big Duck!

The Big Duck Skipper Kirk and Co Skipper Jesse with Dolphin Watch Volunteers Tony Bartram, Gloria Flamank, Nedra Haines, Pip Burfield and Mark David – November 2023

The fantastic support offered by The Big Duck Boat Tours over almost 13 years has taken another quantum leap through their latest environmental initiative. www.thebigduck.com.au

By offering their passengers the opportunity to support local environmental programs through direct donations as part of their Environmental and Research Project Initiatives – an optional $5 donation for online tour bookings and donating funds is a wonderful boon to us, providing much needed funding and resourcing for ongoing survey effort. This brilliant value adding type of experience links perfectly to Research Tourism, a burgeoning area of tourism throughout the world. 

The Big Duck Owner Michael Veenstra, Skipper & Crew – February 2019

The desire of visitors to give back and assist is a marvellous way of helping, both to educate people and give them a chance to be involved in supporting programs which seek to improve sustainability of biodiversity.

Skipper Kirk and Coordinator Tony pre Survey – November 2023

This highly credentialed, award winning ocean marine tour company on the South Coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia is an excellent example of everything good in Eco-tourism – ocean adventures, Victor Harbor and islands tours, Wirrina Cove tours and private charters, plus their sister company Spirit of the Coorong. www.spiritofthecoorong.com.au

Skippers Jonathan and Kirk on survey – December 2022

Their support of our efforts to enhance conservation and protection of dolphins, operating their wonderful vessels at significantly reduced rates for surveys in our regional waters (even throwing in a number of surveys at no cost over the years!) has been a game changer, for us and the dolphins. To now hear, of this wonderful extra support from The Big Duck since January 2024 is fantastic! We wish to offer our grateful thanks to Michael and Bianca Veenstra and Team Big Duck Boat Tours for everything.

First viewing by Tony and Nedra of the wonderful new Big Duck vessel, Kondoli with owner Michael – April 2023
Celebrating Survey 125 on The Big Duck – August 2022
Skipper Kirk and Tony recording data on survey – November 2023

It is not just about the money – it is the recognition of the many hours of effort by the Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch Citizen Science volunteers engaged in vital research effort, Team Big Duck’s brilliant collaboration, help and support and the generous passengers offering their support!

Skippers Jesse and Kirk and volunteers on survey – November 2023

What it is to be acknowledged and supported – we are forever grateful!

We LOVE The Big Duck!

#thebigduck #environmentalresearch #sponsorship #donations #support #collaboration  #dolphins #citizenscience #victorharbor #fleurieupeninsula #encounterbay #southaustralia

#THANKYOU #love #gratitude 

Skippers and volunteers Nedra, Phyll and Tony post survey – February 2024
Thumbs up to the wonderful Big Duck Boat Tours!

Ambassador Melody Horrill and Lesvos Hope Spot Champion Eleni Atsikbasis come on board!

Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch were delighted to welcome their wonderful Ambassador Melody Horrill http://www.melodyhorrill.com and her partner Grant Robb for Survey 239 on Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures http://www.kimarineadventures.com.au on February 14th to Dashwood Bay in the middle of the Mission Blue Kangaroo Island North Coast Hope Spot. http://www.missionblue.org

Ambassador Melody Horrill with her inspirational book “A dolphin called Jock” – a must read!

Other special guests were Dolphin Watch collaborator Eleni Atsikbasis – Mission Blue Hope Spot Champion for the Lesvos Hope Spot on the island of Lesvos in Greece with her associates Patricia and Nicholas. Nicholas is performing a role as a two-way youth ambassador between Australia and Greece over the next two years as he completes his secondary schooling at St Peters College in Adelaide.

Nicholas, Patricia & Eleni Atsikbasis preparing to board
Eleni Atsikbasis, Grant Robb, Melody Horrill, Cecilia Gunnarsson & Fred Peters on KI Marine Adventures, Dashwood Bay

The Lesvos Mission Blue research initiative engages science and society to protect, preserve, and revitalize the Aegean Sea using a citizen-science approach. It aims to ensure that the Aegean Archipelago is sustainably managed, safe and flourishing with marine life while the society is supported and empowered.

Eleni is the founder of ‘Healing Lesvos’ not-for-profit organization, http://www.healinglesvos.org made up of passionate people who care about protecting their community – the ocean, waters, beaches, now and in the future. ‘Healing Lesvos’ in conjunction with the University of the Aegean aims to set up a prototype of best practices that can be adopted by other islands or regions in Greece and the Mediterranean, with an emphasis on environmental conservation through the engagement of youth and empowerment of the most vulnerable social groups, including refugees.

Eleni and Coordinator Tony – collaborations in action during a Dolphin Watch Workshop at the SA Whale Centre in February 2023!

Eleni and partner Chris Kourakis had previously joined Survey 142 in Victor Harbor in December 2023 on the Big Duck Boat Tours http://www.thebigduck.com.au following Eleni participating in her first Dolphin Watch Survey 132 in Victor Harbor in February 2023.

Tony and Eleni during the Survey briefing – Feb. 2023
Happy Citizen Scientists and guests on the Big Duck in Feb. 2023
Eleni, Chris, Birdlife Australia Coordinator Kerri Bartley and crew enjoying the Christmas Survey briefing in Victor Harbor by the man himself!

Wonderful to be collaborating with such a passionate advocate for marine biodiversity and for her to meet and connect with Dolphin Watch Ambassador Melody who similarly is a highly regarded, tremendously experienced marine conservationist. A match made not just in Heaven but in nature.

Citizen Scientists, special guests and Skipper Andrew Neighbour on station at Dashwood Bay, KI

Melody is an amazingly accomplished author, journalist, producer and dolphin advocate who brings to Dolphin Watch a wonderful breadth of knowledge, skills, acumen and passion – it means an immense amount to the project! An integral part of the team with our Dolphin Watch mentor Dr Mike Bossley AM, which saw the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary declared in 2005, and the formation of the then Australian Dolphin Research Foundation, Melody has acted as a Board Member of the Dolphin Research Institute and has more recently taken up a role as Co-chair of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Cetacean Committee. www.janegoodall.org

Tony Bartram, Melody Horrill & Grant Robb on survey

It was as if the dolphins were fully aware of the special nature of the remarkable survey as they were observed in large numbers. Seventy plus Bottlenose dolphins with two calves, one new, and a number of juveniles surrounded the vessel while they rested, socialised and played in the turquoise waters.

A delightful display for the special guests and first time volunteers Artist Cecilia Gunnarsson and husband Colin joining regular Citizen Science volunteers. A debrief at the Kangaroo Island Brewery www.kibeer.com.au allowed the crew to share their delight at the brilliant observations of dolphins totally at ease in their critical habitat, and the urgent need for greater protection and conservation.

Delightful KI Brewery Post Survey Debrief

Dolphin Watch sincerely thank Ambassador Melody, Hope Spot Champion Eleni, special guests, wonderful Citizen Science crew and as always, fantastic Skipper Andrew Neighbour.

When amazing passionate souls who care about dolphins and their habitats come together, magic happens.

#ambassador #hopespots #champions #specialguests #collaborations #missionblue #magic

#love #gratitude

Victor Harbor Manager Nedra Haines wins the Award for Active Citizenship – City of Victor Harbor 2024

Victor Harbor Manager Nedra Haines preparing for a Citizen Science survey on The Big Duck Boat Tours

Hearty congratulations and well done to our wonderful Victor Harbor Manager Nedra Haines – Active Citizenship Award recipient for 2024! 

“In recognition of ongoing marine conservation efforts. Nedra’s contributions to the conservation of marine wildlife will have an enduring impact on the community for years to come. Her passion for marine science and research has been shared through education to the local community, including recently as part of a youth program.”


Nedra – Award announcement PR City of Victor Harbor
Other 2024 Award Recipients with Nedra and Mayor Moira Jenkins – City of Victor Harbor

When asked what the award which will be officially presented at the City of Victor Harbor’s Australia Day celebrations means to Nedra:

“It is always nice to get recognition personally but more importantly I hope it also brings recognition to the groups I volunteer for….especially my first love, dolphins, and the wonderful work that ALL volunteers do. People who are volunteers and Citizen Scientists can make a difference in this world.”

Victor Harbor volunteers Phyll Bartram, Coordinator Tony Bartram, Manager Nedra and Gloria Flamank at a data analysis workshop in the Victor Harbor Library

We are thrilled and delighted to see her broad spectrum, long term involvement in myriad forms of community volunteer activity recognised in 2024. Her outstanding efforts include Victor Harbor Manager of Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch since 2011, long term monitoring and support for the endangered Little Penguin colony monitoring program, and Whale Spotter at the SA Whale Centre, volunteer at the Victor Harbor Visitor Centre / SA Whale Centre, long standing volunteer at the Horse Drawn Tram and Choral Society volunteer.

Data analysis in action at the SA Whale Centre 2019
Nedra, Tony and Phyll with Cathy Riddell – Victor Harbor Visitors Centre / SA Whale Centre Manager 2022
Volunteers Wayne Cornish, Nedra, Tony and Phyll with Dolphin Watch Scientific Advisor Nardi Cribb – SA Whale Centre 2018

Nedra is the perfect example of an outstanding community volunteer acting as our volunteer Manager of the Victor Harbor section of our longitudinal Citizen Science dolphin monitoring project – Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch, in operation since 2005 on Kangaroo Island. We expanded to include Victor Harbor in our regional research in 2011 and for the last 13 years, Nedra has performed her leadership and organizational roles admirably.

This award is an acknowledgement of her commitment to the collection of vital baseline data regarding dolphins by Dolphin Watch. Nedra is passionate, dedicated and committed, showing high levels of inclusivity and integrity with a cooperative, collaborative approach, all leading towards enhanced protection of cetaceans in regional waters.

We salute you dear Nedra!

Your massive contributions over so many years mean so much….indeed making a difference in this wonderful world.

With love and gratitude from us and the dolphins.

#citizenship #award #dolphinchampion #volunteer #citizenscience #victorharbor

#THANKYOU #love #gratitude

Briefing before a Citizen Science survey on The Big Duck Boat Tours in 2019
The smiles say it all! SA Whale Centre 2022 – Fleurieu Marine Education

Welcome aboard Dolphin Watch Ambassador Melody Horrill!

Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch is absolutely thrilled, delighted and overjoyed to welcome on board wonderful journalist, environmentalist and dolphin champion Melody Horrill as our inspiring ambassador for the project.


She brings with her a tremendous wealth of experience in and passion for dolphin conservation and advocacy.

Bottlenose dolphin Ellisa and Calf Mel named after Melody in April 2023 at North Cape, Kangaroo Island (a “Melody” already exists in the catalogues!)

Melody is co-chair of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Cetacean Committee, author and award-winning broadcast journalist who is well-known for her passionate writing and filming about science and the environment.


Dr Jane Goodall with “The Dolphin Who Saved Me”

Her documentary about Adelaide’s Port River dolphins aired nationally and across the world on CNN. She has spent decades lobbying for the protection of Adelaide’s dolphins and their habitat, most recently through the publication of her memoir, ‘A Dolphin Called Jock’. Her book was published across Australia and New Zealand last year and recently released as ‘The dolphin who saved me’ across the UK, US and Canada.

Through her work with the Goodall Cetacean Committee, she continues to fight for better protection of marine mammals world-wide.

International Express Article Oct. 18th 2023

Our heartfelt gratitude with boatloads of love from us and the dolphins.

An inspirational, delightful Zoom > Messenger Meeting with our wonderful Ambassador!
We are so excited to show our wonderful Ambassador the Kangaroo Island dolphins and their critical habitats in 2024!
Cheers to you dear Melody….and THANKYOU for everything! XOX

#dreamscometrue #dolphinwatch #ambassador #gamechanger #cetaceans #dolphins #marinemammals #protection #conservation #janegoodallinstitute #love #gratitude

South Australian Community Achievement Awards 2023 – Ryde International Connecting Communities Award

Time to celebrate and say thankyou!

Ryde International CEO Nathan Woodrow presenting the award to Dolphin Watch Coordinator Tony Bartram at the 2023 South Australian Community Achievement Awards Gala Presentation Dinner on November 10th.

Our heartfelt thanks to Community Achievement Awards http://www.awardsaustralia.com/sacaa and Nathan Woodrow of Ryde International www.rydeinternational.com.au for the wonderful South Australian Community Achievement Awards 2023 – Ryde International Connecting Communities Award….and for your very kind, generous words!

“Kangaroo Island/Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch is a pioneering force, uniting communities in a citizen science endeavour that has reshaped lives. For 18 years, this project has harnessed the passion of volunteers of all ages, immersing them in dolphin research and marine conservation. Beyond collecting invaluable data on dolphins, their inclusive approach empowers individuals, addresses social isolation, and fosters environmental stewardship. This transformative initiative has garnered widespread recognition, including awards like the 2021 SA Citizen Science Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. Dolphin Watch is a shining example of how community-driven efforts can create lasting impacts on our oceans, communities, and wellbeing.”


Dolphin Watch Coordinator Tony Bartram’s acceptance speech
Wonderful MC Elspeth Hussey with the Awards presenters

Thankyou and well done to MC Elspeth Hussey, 7 News, Southern Cross Austereo, Ryde International, Woolworths, The Career College and all sponsors and supporters of the inspiring Community Achievement Awards AND to all the fantastic, inspiring nominees, finalists and winners!!

Tony and Phyll with our Victor Harbor Manager Nedra Haines at the start of the awards ceremony

This recognition of our Citizen Science volunteers’ efforts over the last 18 years is greatly appreciated and an absolute fillip to our continuing vital research efforts.

Such acknowledgements provide just the lift needed to encourage ongoing development and sustainability of our longitudinal project and greater understanding of Cetacean welfare globally.

Our heartfelt thanks to our mentors, ecotourism operators and collaborators, volunteers of all ages, sponsors and supporters for making it all possible.

We are forever grateful.

#SACAA #communityachievementawards #connectingcommunities #southaustralia #rydeinternational #7news #SCA #woolworths #thecareercollege #inspiration

#dolphinwatch #citizenscience #conservation #volunteers #mentors #sponsors #supporters

#THANKYOU #love #gratitude

2 Weeks Celebrating National Science Week 2023

The 2023 National Science Week event “Investigating Critical Corridors”- ‘Using data to determine dolphin migratory pathways in the region’ hosted by Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch on Kangaroo Island and in Victor Harbor on the mainland was highly successful by any measure. http://www.scienceweek.net.au

The first research survey on The Big Duck Boat Tours http://thebigduck.com.au on August 9th in Encounter Bay saw Citizen Science volunteers take part in shorebird surveys in conjunction with Birdlife Australia around the islands off Victor Harbor, then travel to areas off Wright Island to observe, record and collect invaluable data regarding the Bottlenose dolphins who frequent the area. A high energy display of feeding on a mullet school was both exciting and highly interesting from a data perspective.

Victor Harbor Survey Crew The Big Duck Aug. 9th 2023

The second and third surveys aboard Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures http://www.kimarineadventures.com.au vessel “Island Explorer” to North Cape off Kingscote on Kangaroo Island on August 14th and 30th involved volunteers in meaningful data collection exercises. All 3 surveys in the region involved a number of new participants of all ages, including a group of teenagers – families of several KI Council representatives.

KI Survey 1 Crew KI Marine Adventures Aug. 14th 2023
KI Survey 2 Crew KIMA Aug. 30th 2023

The 3 open workshops on August 8th, 10th and 11th at the Victor Harbor Visitors Centre / SA Whale Centre www.visitvictorharbor.com allowed community members to come and observe, or be involved if they wished in the data analysis, collation and cataloguing exercise using the data gathered during the Science Week survey and on previous surveys.

VH Science Week Workshop Aug. 23rd 2023
Birdlife Australia Collaborations Aug. 8th 2023 VH

The workshop at the Ozone Hotel www.ozonehotelki.com.au in Kingscote on August 18th involved volunteers being able to participate in the morning tea Brain Break Quiz activities prepared by National Science Week. This proved to be a funfilled activity for all concerned and gave further evidence to the part Science plays in our everyday lives.

Brain Break Morning Tea Ozone Hotel KI Aug. 18th 2023

All 4 workshops involved positive visitation, important meetings and very productive collaborations, including with Birdlife Australia’s Kerri Bartley http://www.birdlife.org.au, who will be regularly joining our monthly surveys with a group of Birdlife Australia volunteers participating in vital shorebird surveys and a data collection exercise including endangered species, focussing on the islands in the Encounter Bay area where a number of species breed. A particular focus is the Fairy Tern which has recently been added to the threatened species list.

Discussions and worthy collaborations included a very productive session with shark expert Dr Jonathan Werry, previously one of the Big Duck Boat Tours skippers, with a strong interest in linkages with dolphin data collection.  Dr Werry gathered our data on dolphin damage collected over 18 years as part of his forensic analysis of dolphin injuries /shark / boat strike, in preparation for his paper on “White Sharks” which will be presented to an international conference in Port Lincoln in November. It is very heartening to see our longitudinal data used by experts in such important scientific applications and conservation work.

The intent to involve community “decision makers” as part of the activities proved fruitful as a number of Council personnel participated, gaining insights into the part scientific data collection plays in informed decision making. The exercise was well received as shown by very positive verbal and written feedback.

Participants included teenagers through to respected senior citizens in the community, exchange students, regional Councillors and staff, photographers, environmentalists, visitors and regular volunteers. Fortunately this year the weather was kind with all 3 surveys carried out in excellent conditions leading to brilliant data collection exercises and very positive experiences for all on board.

Each survey and workshop involved considerable socialising, discussions and information sharing, offering many opportunities to focus on and celebrate Science in our regional community. Numerous morning teas and enjoyable lunches at The Causeway Café, Eat at Whalers, Emu Bay Lavender Farm and The Ozone Hotel were thoroughly enjoyed with wonderful connections and social opportunities so vital in isolated communities. Bringing a cross section of the community together over a common cause and passion creates a sense of purpose, belonging etc and increased health and wellbeing.

We were delighted to receive excellent local and regional media visitation and support helping to spread our message, thanks to Editor Michael Simmons and journalists Emma Heidenreich and Stan Gorton. Articles featured in The Times Victor Harbor, the Fleurieu Sun and The Islander Newspapers and on line coverage, for which we are truly grateful. Emma joined our Victor Harbor survey and thoroughly enjoyed the Citizen Science experience during which she interviewed a number of participants, including two French exchange students witnessing dolphins up close in their natural environment for the first time. The results were excellent coverage and a front page feature in The Times Newspaper, with great feedback from the community as a response.

Interview with Editor Michael Simmons Fleurieu Sun Aug. 10th 2023 VH

During one of the 3 Victor Harbor Workshops Coordinator Tony was interviewed by Angela Coe at ABC Regional Radio about National Science Week and what our 13th event was all about. The importance of data acquisition for use in informing management practises was highlighted together with the invaluable work of Citizen Scientists in this process. The part Science Week events play in giving participants the chance to act as scientists in this data collection and analysis, if they wished, clearly indicated the role they could play in true scientific research.

Our Theme “Investigating Critical Corridors” exploring and analysing movements, patterns, behaviours and preferred habitat was well served by the event on surveys and in workshops, introductory pre survey briefings , workshop activities, discussions, meetings etc.  Participants were able to grasp and fully appreciate these fundamental elements in conservation and protection of dolphins about which very little is known. Dolphins as a sentinel species, but with iconic status constantly prove to be an ideal vehicle to engage the community, and decision makers in particular, in scientific data collection with strong linkages to STEM programs, initiatives and pathways.

The main agenda of encouraging community members to participate in scientific research thus expanding their understanding of the importance of STEM in every day decision making was clearly promulgated and the wider community’s understanding was enhanced accordingly. The second agenda of introducing the importance of scientific data collection to local decision makers across the region was also effective with a good take up rate by Councillors and Council management staff, on Kangaroo Island in particular.

On Kangaroo Island and more recently in Victor Harbor, we eagerly anticipate National Science Week each year and relish the opportunity to celebrate Science, the value of meaningful data collection and application in conservation, and the importance of community members of all ages developing a sense of stewardship and custodianship in their environment. All core business elements of our project were fostered and made possible by wonderful funding and support for which we are truly grateful. Once again our heartfelt thanks to Inspiring South Australia www.inspiringsa.org.au and to the SA National Science Week Committee for the fantastic help, support and faith in our project. Hearty congratulations once again on a magnificent range of Science Week events and celebrations across the country!

We were delighted to be a small part of the celebrations and are already planning and looking forward to our 2024 event, revisiting our 2013 theme of “Survival” which seems appropriate!

#scienceweek #inspiringsa #nationalscienceweek #STEM #citizenscience #dolphins #conservation #THANKYOU

Goodwill Wine – Good Causes, Great Wine!

Goodwill Wine was created to reward the supporters of great causes with great wines.

Volunteer / Photographer Mark David’s creativity in action

Goodwill Wine www.goodwillwine.com.au sources quality boutique Australian wines at below cellar door prices and donates half of the profits to wonderful Australian charities and non-profit organisations. We can enjoy delicious, affordable wines while supporting small batch growers and worthy causes….including Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch!

The proverbial “Win / Win” situation.

In fact, the wines are so good they come with a money-back guarantee. The Age describes them as “seriously good” and Gourmet Traveller Wine says they’re “quality boutique wine”. Which means you can get great wine, while supporting a great cause. Cheers to that!

To date Goodwill Wines have donated $512,642 and counting to a host of amazing, inspiring Australian Charities! Want to support us just by drinking wine? Now you can! Buy Goodwill Wine and we’ll get 50% of the profits.

Please check it out: https://goodwillwine.com.au/charities/kangaroo-island-victor-harbor-dolphin-watch

Thankyou SO much wonderful Goodwill Wines Founder CEO David Laity and team for believing in us and patiently offering your magnificent support for @kivhdolphinwatch since October 2020! The money provided through this sponsorship goes directly towards supporting vital dolphin research and we are truly grateful for your amazing efforts.

Please enjoy Goodwill Wine’s wonderful Website Blogs including David’s inspiring story:

“The Original Story of Goodwill Wine”   January 24th 2022

Thankyou SO much David! We think you are truly amazing!

#THANKYOU #goodwillwine #cheers #love #gratitude

#goodwine #positiveimpact #givebackwithwine #winewithpurpose #kindness #payitforward #dolphinconservation #citizenscience #kangarooisland #victorharbor #raiseaglassforcharity

Goodwill Wine inspiring Founder CEO David Laity
Even a delightful Thankyou note from David with each order!!!
Cheers and THANKYOU Goodwill Wine!

Milestones, Collaborations and Celebrations!

Citizen Science experiences and accomplishments for a busy year so far have been many and varied, often involving meaningful collaborations and supportive efforts!

Ongoing monthly research survey effort continues, weather permitting, on Kangaroo Island (233 to date) and in Victor Harbor (134 to date) resulting in significant data collection and fantastic on water encounters. A number of regular intensive data workshops, punctuated with a variety of enthusiastic visitors have been very productive and most enjoyable.

Citizen Scientists & Crew on The Big Duck Boat Tours at Victor Harbor February 2023
Citizen Scientists at work on KI Marine Adventures at Dashwood Bay March 2023

Using this data to continue efforts for greater protection and conservation of critical habitat areas underpins our core business.  Metrics provide us with invaluable insights into the effectiveness of our project which relates directly to the health and welfare of marine biodiversity in the region and particularly in the Kangaroo Island North Coast Hope Spot, working towards the Mission Blue goals:  WISH, ACT, PROTECT. www.missionblue.org

New life…new data, thanks to volunteer Fred Peters, North Cape KI May 2023
Bottlenose dolphin “regulars” in Encounter Bay – Scapa & Shanti April 2023

Dolphins acting as ecological bio indicators of the health of marine environments is well understood and the role they give us in providing these snapshots and information cannot be underestimated, with an emerging focus on the need to protect migratory pathways and corridors between critical habitat areas.

Volunteer Fred Peters at work in perfect conditions at North Cape KI May 2023
Volunteers at work in Encounter Bay April 2023

Vital ongoing and extensive Citizen Science data collection along the North West coast of KI since 2021 by Research and Discovery Coastal Tours KI, researching a range of marine species and birds, a number of which are endangered, is fantastic! Generously incorporating their dolphin data collection and collation into Dolphin Watch longitudinal data sets is being undertaken providing a great opportunity to extend the areas of research for Kangaroo Island / Victor Harbor Dolphin Watch. RAD KI offers access to previously unexplored sites, as well as providing valuable opportunities to educate widely about the importance of marine environments and in particular the North Coast Hope Spot. www.radki.com.au

Research & Discovery KI owners/operators Roanna Horbelt & Phil Smith at work on the North West Coast KI May 2023
Research & Discovery KI Citizen Science in action on the North West Coast KI May 2023

Celebrating our 18th year on Kangaroo Island on Survey 231 to Dashwood Bay in March was made extra special with the makeup of the crew. Joining a mix of regular and new volunteers were visitor Steve from the UK, Landscapes Board Reef Restoration Officer Alex Comino, and Leah George – one of the original Dolphin Watch crew from right back in the beginning 18 years ago! Gary Bell of KI Digicam, a long term sponsor and supporter and creator of a number of media materials for us from the very beginning, joined us on survey again with his latest photographic equipment and trademark enthusiasm, passion, energy and humour. Truly a happy celebration with 30+ Bottlenose dolphins relaxing in the shallows in critical habitat in the North Coast Mission Blue Hope Spot. A great day on the water with perfect conditions for data collection, topped off afterwards by happy celebrations and a delightful cake prepared by the Emu Bay Lavender Farm. www.emubaylavenderfarm.com.au

Into our 18th year on Kangaroo Island on Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures March 2023
Birthday Celebrations at the Emu Bay Lavender Farm March 2023

The 12th Birthday celebrations since expanding the project to Victor Harbor could have been a disappointing affair with the on water Survey 134 cancelled due to rough weather and a big swell, as happened for the 2022 Birthday survey. It was anything but due to the fantastic enthusiasm of the Citizen Science volunteers from around Encounter Bay. They came to celebrate at the wonderful Whalers Inn and enjoy the superb cake prepared by long term volunteer Gloria Jean, one of many she has created over the years. www.whalers.au

12th Birthday Celebrations at Whalers Seaside Dining May 2023
12th Birthday cake delights thanks to Gloria Jean! May 2023

Our grateful thanks to all the wonderful Dolphin Watch volunteers of all ages, mentors, sponsors, friends and supporters over the years with particular acknowledgement of our wonderful Ecotourism operators KI Marine Adventures www.kimarineadventures.com.au and The Big Duck Boat Tours www.thebigduck.com.au for their unstinting support and faith in our Citizen Science project since 2005. Magnificent hospitality and workshop venues regularly provided by the Ozone Hotel Kangaroo Island www.ozonehotelki.com.au and the Victor Harbor Visitor Centre / SA Whale Centre www.visitvictorharbor.com has been a special treat providing a Dolphin Watch “Home Away from Home!

Looking forward to the rest of an exciting year … and another 18 years working with amazing dear souls on “all things dolphin”!

Bottlenose dolphins at Dashwood Bay March 2023
Bottlenose dolphins in Victor Harbor February 2023
Data analysis workshop at the Ozone Hotel KI March 2023
Data analysis workshop at the Victor Harbor Visitors Centre/SA Whale Centre May 2023

#love #gratitude #happybirthday #citizenscience #dolphinwatch #volunteers #workshops #sponsors #supporters #conservation

The smiles say it all……………… THANKYOU!

“Coming home” to the consolidated Victor Harbor Visitors Centre / SA Whale Centre!!

Over a number of workshops in the Victor Harbor Visitors Centre Minke Room in December 2022 and February 2023 we were treated to wonderful hospitality provided by Manager Cathy Riddell, staff and volunteers with numerous Dolphin Watch volunteers and visitors joining us. www.visitvictorharbor.com

Thankyou for the wonderful welcome Cathy!

In February Eleni Atsikbasis – Mission Blue www.missionblue.org Hope Spot Champion of the Avlaki Gulf Hope Spot in Lesvos, Greece with interested friends, were keen to learn all about our project and Eleni shared wonderful images and information about @healinglesvos www.healinglesvos.org and her inspiring work.

Eleni Atskibasis, Tony and Phyll Bartram – planning wonderful Hope Spot collaborations and future directions. Thankyou Eleni!
Information sharing about Healing Lesvos and KI / VH Dolphin Watch

Victor Harbor Council’s Tara Butler popped in and later a visit from Caroline Horn from ABC Adelaide proved very fruitful.

Caroline Horn from ABC Adelaide catching up with staff and volunteers

Discussions with Renee Newman and Ali Bloomfield from Fleurieu Marine Education in December and February, offering support and collaborations were very positive. www.fleurieumarineeducation.com.au

Connecting and collaborating with Renee Newman and Ali Bloomfield – Fleurieu Marine Education

Ongoing data editing, collation and analysis from our monthly Citizen Science surveys on the fantastic Big Duck Boat Tours www.thebigduck.com.au plus volunteers generously welcomed to collect data on regular marine tours, was undertaken as a major focus throughout.  

In April 2011 we expanded Dolphin Watch to Victor Harbor working with The Big Duck and right from the very beginning the SA Whale Centre welcomed and supported us and made us feel very much at home with regular workshops, meetings, presentations etc.

Officially opened on December 14th the new centre is a wonderful space designed to perform its multi-function as a Tourism Office, Interpretive Centre, a hub for locals to access resources and whale sighting information services of the SA Whale Centre.

It was great to be back surrounded by the historic centre, the old Railway Goods Shed and its wonderful community feeling.

Hearty congratulations and best wishes to the Victor Harbor Council and everyone involved in the redevelopment and exciting new directions for this magnificent facility.

Our grateful thanks for the special welcome and delightful hospitality over many days!

We are looking forward to our return……very much!

#THANKYOU #cityofvictorharbor #visitorscentre #sawhalecentre #home #itsgoodtobeback #citizenscience #volunteers #community #visitors #tourism #workshops #collaborations #dolphins #research #dataanalysis #conservation #victorharbor #fleurieupeninsula #love #gratitude

Back to Business in 2023!!

Bottlenose dolphin – Volunteer Fred Peters

What an absolute delight to go back to Dashwood Bay on Survey 228 on January 9th with wonderful volunteers, old and new……right in the middle of the magnificent Mission Blue www.missionblue.org Kangaroo Island North Coast Hope Spot!

It had been a long break since our previous Dolphin Watch survey on Kangaroo Island due to weather impacts and lengthy delays with KI Marine Adventures’ installation of 2 new jet engines….39 weeks and 2 days! www.kimarineadventures.com.au

Citizen Science Volunteers back on site at Dashwood Bay on KI Marine Adventures…celebrating !!!

A group of between 50 to 60 Bottlenose dolphins with 4 calves, including 2 newly born, was the delightful outcome and to see them so at ease and peacefully resting in this extraordinary critical habitat was heartwarming.

Bottlenose dolphins in resting mode in critical habitat.

KI Marine Adventures’ newly refurbished boat with 2 fantastic new Audi V8 jet engines performed brilliantly and provided a perfect platform for excellent photographic identification research to be undertaken. Congratulations, very best wishes …and thankyou Skipper Andrew Neighbour!!!

A number of delightful new calves.
Looking forward to our return next week to check on the wonderful new calves!

The future for our longitudinal research efforts is bright and makes our efforts to achieve the best possible protection for this incredibly essential habitat even more important for the future of the dolphins and indeed the planet itself.

Welcome refreshments at the KI Brewery www.kibeer.com.au after the survey enabled a happy debriefing and special welcome to the wonderful new volunteers who have come on board and want to help!

A fantastic start to a wonderful New Year!

Our grateful thanks to all our wonderful mentors, volunteers, sponsors and supporters who have helped and supported us in any way over the years!!

Cheers and Happy New Year!!

#citizenscience #dolphins #volunteers #mentors #supporters #conservation #protection #missionblue #hopespot #love #gratitude

The calves were celebrating too!

Dashwood Bay …right in the middle of the Mission Blue Kangaroo island North Coast Hope Spot.