Charting interactions between dolphins and people
Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Fri, 19th July

This is the report of a 5-day trip to Fanore of two Belgians, interested in whale-watching for 5 years : Grégor Chapelle (28) and Gaëtan Vanloqueren (24). The goal of that trip was, of course, to meet Dusty. They swam with her four times, around 2-3 hours each time, and tried to interact with her as much as possible: playing new games with new things as they had read that Dusty was interested by new “games” and new things. At home, they are involved in Hydrojeunes, a Belgian association organising sailing trips in the French-part of the Mediterranean Sea with teens having difficulties with their families, school, etc. These whale-watching oriented sailing trips are part of a greater long-term, social and ecological project with the teens and their animators. See for more details.

They swam with Dusty from Thursday the 18th of July until Monday the 22nd so make sure you read their other accounst

The weather was bad but we were the only people at 10.30. She was there, swimming close to the red buoy. First, Grégor called her at the rocky place near the road, hitting two rocks together, in his hands. She came rapidly and we went in the water and were shortly joined by eight swimmers and two persons in their sea-kayaks. We tried to swim together in the direction to the red buoy (the place where she keeps her stuff and our belt?) but Dusty only came once when we were midway. She was interested by the noise of the two rocks that Grégor had carried with him all the way. But the kayaks seemed to be more interesting partners to play with: Dusty spent most of the time with them and not with the other people (most of them staying in the water, doing nothing).

The rain got worse and all the people but us got out of the water. We stayed near the rocks and Dusty came near us to see what Grégor was doing with a crab’s carapace and a crab’s pincer, scratching the pincer on the carapace. She seemed also interested by the noise made when you scratch that crab’s pincer on the suit’s zipper. Then, we spent our first very close and very calm moment with her. She was very close to us and we started to caress her and rub her back and melon. After a minute or more, we were actually having a big hug with her: Grégor embracing her at the place behind the dorsal fin and me hugging her near the melon, watching her in the eye. She closed her eyes and was on her side, moving at a very slow pace.

We got off the water after two or three hours with her because we were getting a bit cold and very hungry. She seemed to be willing us to stay, by coming between the rocks and me when I tried to get off the water but didn’t insist much. Still, we went back in about three times before actually getting out of the water.
Date Posted: 19/07/2002
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