Swimming With Wild Dolphins

Science, Thoughts

There are moments in your life you never expect. 

There are moments that you can only imagine.

There are moments that leave you speechless.

There are moments you can only hope for.

There are moments that are unreal.

There are moments like this…

http://vimeo.com/chanelhason/dolphins This happened after a couple boat dives off the coast of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. On our way back to the marina, the captain spotted a pod of dolphins swimming in front of us. As we got closer, they started to play in the wake of the boat. Soon, the boat slowed down to a stop. My friend Sara asked the captain if we could hop off the back of the boat and get a closer look at the dolphins. He was hesitant to say yes, mostly because he didn’t want to get our hopes up, since often the dolphins immediately swim away when people jump into the water with them. BUT- we took the risk 🙂 I only had my dive fins, and I didn’t want to fuss with putting my booties on, so I just grabbed my mask, no snorkel, and jumped into the open sea with my GoPro. WOW. All I kept saying was:

“THIS IS SO COOL!”

I had no other words. I was speechless. It was a moment that compares to no other. They were Atlantic spotted dolphins, which I had never seen before in the wild. You can see that the older dolphins had more prominent spotting, and the younger ones were more uniformly grey with less spots. They were BEAUTIFUL. One of the most amazing things about swimming with them was listening to their clicks and whistles underwater – the sounds were so magnifying! They were swimming in small groups of up to 3-5 individuals, and bouncing between one person floating in the ocean to the other. They swam amongst us for at least 15 minutes (which felt like an eternity). I honestly didn’t want to get out of the water. Yes, I did understand that I was interacting with wild animals. Dolphins do sometimes show aggression towards humans (it’s been video documented). But, in all reality, if I had to get hurt by something in the ocean, I wouldn’t be ashamed if it ended up being a dolphin. Luckily, the dolphins we encountered were very friendly and curious, just like the fascinated humans staring back at them in the water.

Definitely, one of the best moments of my life.

 

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Dolphins Smile For The Camera!

Photography, Science, Thoughts

I saw a great viral video recently containing footage from a fishing trip off the coast of Santa Cruz, CA. Mark Peters, the one who filmed the video, created a little torpedo capsule for his GoPro camera to get some underwater shots of the tuna him and his friends were fishing for. Little did he know how precious that GoPro would be when a pod of dolphins started swimming next to their boat… Check it out below!

The Blue

Isn’t it hard not to smile when you see a dolphin 🙂 ? Dolphins are such beautiful, curious, smart, and for the most part very friendly creatures. The Pacific White-Sided Dolphins as seen in Mark’s video are very common off the coast of California. I actually did a little pointillism drawing a couple of years ago of a Pacific White-Sided Dolphin as seen below. It was a fun and relatively simple drawing to do 🙂 Hope all of you are enjoying your week thus far- keep smiling!

My Pacific White Sided Dolphin Drawing

Octopus Hitches a Ride on a Dolphin’s Private Parts

Photography, Science, Thoughts

Well, when you think you’ve seen it all, a story like this comes along!

In the Ionian Sea, researchers conducting the Ionian Dolphin Project were out watching a pod of friendly dolphins. And when one jumped out of the water, they saw something peculiar dangling from the underside of the cetacean.

After the researchers came back and examined the photos more closely, they saw that the peculiar object was none other than an octopus hitching a joyride on the dolphin! Well, it may have not been the best joyride because the dolphin was most likely jumping out of the water so much to dislodge the poor little octopus from its body. A scary joyride if you ask me.

Unfortunately for the dolphin, the octopus seemed to be lodged into its genital slit. Awkward…

Who knows how or why this happened-  maybe the dolphin tried to eat the octopus and the octopus was doing this for payback? Or the octopus just wanted to experience what it was like to swim with dolphins? Maybe the octopus is having an identity (and species) crisis? We will never know. Let’s just be happy that we wear bathing suits (at least most of us) when we are swimming in that big blue! I definitely don’t want an octopus to find a place to become lodged anywhere on my body (too much?..oops). Hahah!