(Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas)
I’m convinced we were temporarily adopted by dolphins during our stay in Clarence Town, Long Island. That, OR we anchored right on top of their home turf.
Either way, we had an adorable mama + baby dolphin pair that would not leave our boat. For anything.
I’m telling you, their stay lasted at least 48 hours, if not more! And that’s only after we first noticed the two circling our boat one morning while leaving to take Oliver to shore for his usual potty break.
Turns out, I’m NOT all that familiar with dolphin swimming *below* the surface. The water back in Naples isn’t nearly as crystal clear (to say the most), so you really only see dolphin after they surface…when they do their typical porpoise rolls. So when a huge black shark-looking figure is swimming underwater towards the dinghy, and Jereme is already in the dinghy, you kinda freak out. A teensy bit. ;))
I quickly realized we weren’t in the presence of big sharks, but rather two adorable dolphin that eventually surfaced right next to the dink! We paused and enjoyed the show for a few minutes thinking that by the time we returned from dog duty, the pair would be long gone.
Back in George Town a few weeks ago, we experienced a similar encounter from one lone dolphin who circled our boat for about an hour. We think he must’ve been feeding since he appeared shortly after Jereme had finished bottom cleaning our boat…that tends to attract lots of fish and hence the dolphin.
But ^^this^^ dolphin encounter in Long Island was totally different! The twosome definitely did not wave goodbye and head off into the sunset after merely an hour. They stuck around for TWO entire days!!!
At first, the pair just casually circled the boat for a few hours. And even stuck it out through a heavy thunderstorm and downpour (all while we showered on deck and collected rain water).
Oliver got quite the workout that day, seeing as he lapped the boat about 500 times while trying to keep tabs on the dolphins’ whereabouts. After a few hours of listening to Oliver’s incessant whimper/bark/cry and worrying that he might fall overboard, we were forced to keep him below deck so he wouldn’t be able to see the dolphins surface. He’s no dummy though. He knew full well that his friends were still out there frolicking without him. He tried his hardest (and succeeded on several occasions) to sneak back up to check on the pair.
From what we’ve heard (and it could all be a load of you-know-what), dolphins can in fact “adopt” a boat as part of their group. It typically happens when they are lost or separated from their pod. We’ve also heard tales of dolphin mommas “dropping off their dolphin kiddos” at a safe location while they go and do other things (for lack of a better description). Kinda like our boat is “babysitting” the little ones. I know that sounds strange, but we heard it from the actual guy who helped rescue Winter, the real life dolphin from the movie “Dolphin Tale.” We met him in Blackpoint (Exumas) and then again in George Town where he gave us the lowdown on all sorts of dolphin behavior.
In this case however, momma and baby were constantly together and did not part from one another the entire time. They swam within 20 feet or so of one another, usually much closer. And stayed no further than 100 feet from the boat at any given time.
The second day, the dolphins seemed to become a bit more social. They jumped high out of the water for us while playfully flipping their tails in the air. Such show-offs! ;)) The pair swam upside down under and around the dinghy. …Probably wondering why we weren’t jumping in and going for a swim. Perhaps we should have! But we’ve heard mixed opinions on swimming with wild dolphin and I just wouldn’t want to risk the momma becoming aggressive with her baby nearby.
^^You can see their white bellies under the water as they swam right by the dink!^^
I thought for sure we would see the pair when we awoke on day 3. I mean, they had become part of the crew at that point. ;)) But I guess they had their fill of us and moved on to bigger and better things. …Hopefully back to their little dolphin family.
>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean. …Learn more about us and our sailing + cruising adventures.