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Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Thur, 11th July

Dusty’s fin

Right from our first encounters with ‘Dusty’ in Doolin in July 2000, we noticed that she was very interested in fins, and she also liked to push boogie boards around. Recently some regular swimmers such as Ute and Jan have been letting the dolphin ‘borrow’ their fins (and in Jan’s case his ‘waterwing’) and have watched her performing amazing balancing acts by using her beak to push these awkward objects around in the water. So far they haven’t lost any equipment as she has either brought them their fins back or has left them not too far away, where it was still possible to dive and retrieve them - but I am not so unconditionally trusting with my precious snorkelling gear! So when I last went up to Derreen I took with me a old spare fin found on the beach in Dingle, minus its straps, which I considered suitable for donation to the cause of amusing Dusty.

Dusty checking out her present

Ute, Nike and Kristin were present for the first and last trial of ‘Dusty’s fin’ on Thursdsay 11th July and the photos show that she was pleased with her present, at least at first! She nosed it carefully and soon started pushing it slowly around on the surface and just underneath. She balanced it near the heavier foot end and held it at an angle across the tip of her beak. When I threw it away she duly brought it back to me and I was especially impressed that if I swam away from her, on my back, she was able to speed up at least to my maximum speed as she followed me, fin first.

I suppose we forgot about the fin in amongst other games and chatting to each other in the water, and at one point when I looked around for it, it was gone. We never saw it again during the next few days so it may be drifting towards Galway by now but if you see it you know where to return it to!

Graham Timmins (e-mail)

Date Posted: 11/07/2002
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