Charting interactions between dolphins and people
Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Saturday, 11th of May

Jan Ploeg (monofin man - see section on this website) is currently in Fanore for an extended length of time. He has sent his account on his first swim of 2002 so we hope you enjoy reading it and other's that he will be sending. Jan is fascinated by the motion and intention of dolphins through their swimming movements and does his best to mimic their behaviour. He wears a monofin (fused flippers) which is rudimentary replica of the dolphin's tail and holds what he calls a water wing in his hands which are very similar to the dolphin's pectoral fins.

"Saturday, 11th of May
This morning I walked down to an ocean that looked as though it had just been ironed. Roxanna maintained later that Dusty arrived at the same time at the beach. But when I arrived at the water she was not in sight although I went in anyway. I made a few dives for some of the many huge spider crabs trotting along, but still she did not show. I got a small rock from the seabed and drummed the same rhythm of yesterday evening on my waterwing. Within half a minute she shot by. The first ten minutes she continued to either shoot by or swim around me in fast circles. Then I started reaching out my hand and she came almost right away, nearly touching. She prodded her beak gently against my waterwing in a way as if she wanted to push it, but I wasn't too sure I 'd get it back so I didn't let go. Next time I'll take one along I could miss. Also she touched my monofin a lot, but in a different, undemanding way. Like last year she was definitely interested in my genital area. At times she swam off for a minute at the most. When I did not pay attention to her, she came swimming very close under me, almost touching or strolled along at my side at the same pace.

When I dived down or made energetic movements she would move faster and go farther away. When I'd move towards the shore she gently cut across my track one or two times. I had the feeling she was pretty curious and mildly playful. She was not taking a lot of initiatives, but eagerly responded to mine.

On the beach there were two German families. Dusty swam with me when I left the water and Simone very bravely went in, in mere underclothes. She was extensively rewarded with Dusty's attention, who stayed in knee-deep water for quite some time so other members of the two families could have a touch and stroke. In the shallows Dusty did two surprising things. First she insisted on swimming through my legs twice. Then she was prodding her beak against my feet quite firmly a number of times. I had the feeling she was wandering about the transition from fin to feet. Finally, not that I minded though and just for the record, she did shit twice quite near to my face.

This was a grand experience, richer than any of my swims with her last year. I think this is also an equipment thing as I feel reborn in my super new 5-4-3 wetsuit, with only two kilo's on my belt.

After towels Simone promised that of the many digital photographs she made she would put a selection on a floppy disc that I am to receive tomorrow.

Be keeping in dolphin touch, Jan "

Date Posted: 11/05/2002
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