Thursday, February 17, 2011

Swimming With Spinner Dolphins

Off the Kona side of the big island of Hawaii, you can swim with wild dolphins.  It's pretty amazing!  A large pod of dolphins lives there and you can go with several different companies out to swim with them.  Essentially they position the boat in front of the pod, you get in the water, they swim under and around you, and you get back on the boat and repeat until time's up.  Typically you can also see manta rays and often whales as well, but the day I went, there were no whale sightings.  It was a stormy sea and I got a bit seasick - fortunately someone had an extra Dramamine!  (Bonine is even better, but I forgot to take it!)

I went out on the Sea Wolf, and the experience was a good one.  The captain and crew were great, and the dolphins were just gorgeous.  A very large pod of dolphins, I would estimate at least 100.

When I got in the water and they swam under me, I was impressed with the moms and babies, the small groups of friends, and the playfulness of the dolphins as they swam.  They jumped out of the water, twirled and flipped, swam within 2 feet of the boat, jumping out of the water.  Of course, it was a moving boat, the swells were high, and I was feeling very nauseous, so I basically pointed the camera and hoped for the best for a few minutes between snorkel stops.  I happened to get one good jump photo - not centered, but hey, you take what you can get! 

I would never swim with captive dolphins, after watching The Cove, who could?!  But it's great that you can swim with dolphins in the wild, who really do not seem to mind a bit, and not interfere with them.

No comments: