Charting interactions between dolphins and people
Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Saturday, 18th of May (Part 2)

More people in the water compared with this morning but conditions were pretty much the same: calm water and sunny skies and a friendly dolphin; what more could one ask for?

This pattern seems to be developing between Dusty and myself where frenetic periods of activity usually include a few leaps and spins. We both go down to the bottom and then a race for the surface. After about four or five of these Dusty changed tact slightly, which caught me by surprise. It resulted in me getting a bang on the lip from her beak and I cried out in shock more than pain. She immediately stopped a lent into me, cradling her head against my chest. It is so easy to project in these situations but it did feel as though she was saying sorry, or to calm down, or even just telling me to a get a grip, as it was only a slight knock. We carried on with the same energy straight away just to prove that all was still all right.

The speed of her movement and angles of her turns are quite something to behold. There will be times when she will stop dead-still after swimming passed at a massive rate. It doesn’t seem possible, I thought she would slip into a skid but she can just stop. At one stage I chased after her, trying to catch up as she sped away. She was about 5-6 metres ahead, travelling at speed when I must have hit a vortex left behind by the strokes of her tail. It was as though I had swum into a wall, or been put into the spin cycle of a washing machine. Realising her power is quite humbling, especially when I am bumbling about in a make-shift tail fluke, trying to imitate her movements.

I write as though it all happened to me this evening but there were seven or eight other people in the water and she shared her time with all of them. I write only of my direct experience because I was so caught up in the moment that I hardly noticed what else went on around me.

Keith Buchanan

Date Posted: 18/05/2002
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