Every new group of passengers is briefed on the dolphins and informed about how to swim with them before the start of each trip. The policies of no touch and no chasing are stressed, and passengers are always receptive to this. This group was no exception. The AM group consisted of a whole bunch of kids and their parents, along with two friends from back home, all equally eager to swim with dolphins.
After two hours of searching we caught some spotteds on our bow, 4 class 2 animals, one with a large scar down his side. They were very easily distracted by our boat and other boats, which was the reason for losing them. There were numerous private recreational boats in the area, one of which came very close to ours and distracted the little ones. But luckily there was a big group in the area and we were able to reenter the water several times a bit father away from the other boats. Our friends were speechless by the end of the trip and it reminded us how lucky we are.
We went out again later on that day. About 40 minutes into the trip we encountered 6 bottlenose and one sand shark, all of which surprisingly let us swim with them for a total of 12 minutes which is a rare occurrence with the bottlenose dolphins here. Later on in the trip we were able to swim with seven dolphins, both spotteds and bottlenose for 15 minutes or so. We recruited one of our friends to take the camera in and she was enthralled with the research aspect of these recreational trips immediately.
The next day we had to wait until the last half hour of the trip before the dolphins graced us with their presence. We were in with 9 of them for 10 minutes, some of them were making some funny noises, not their usual whistles. They wandered off for a few minutes but returned for an encore, and then were off. We did spot some more critters later on, but unfortunately it was too dark to swim with them – we were lucky we even saw them.
Until next time,
Kelly and Kathy