Wild Dolphin Encounters
Swimming with Wild Dolphins – The Adventure of a Lifetime
Discover the magic of swimming with a pod of wild Atlantic spotted dolphins in their natural habitat. The shallow waters of the Bahamas provide an aquatic sanctuary where dolphins frolic and feed on a daily and nightly basis. Whether you’re watching the dolphins from the deck of the live aboard vessel or snorkeling among the pod, this life-changing experience is perfect for water enthusiasts of all levels.
As we cruise over bright white sand, in water so clear it looks like a giant swimming pool, we see something in the distance that catches our eye. It’s the sleek gray body of a dolphin speeding towards us, jumping high out of the water. But wait, there are more – two, four, ten, we can’t count them all. They are coming to meet the boat and ride the pressure wave under the bow. We run to the bow and see them crisscrossing around each other, rolling over on their backs to have a look at us, looking down at them.
Summer vacation has never been so COOL!
After a few minutes the boat slows down, the dolphins slow down, and the anticipation of what we are about to experience is almost unbearable. It’s probably something you’ve dreamed of for years and never thought could happen. Slowly we enter the water with our mask, fins and snorkel.
Now we are face to face with the most friendly, playful animals in the Atlantic Ocean and they are swimming circles around us clicking and whistling, as excited to see us, as we are to see them. They are ready to play!
Atlantic Spotted Dolphins.
The more we swim underwater, in the awkward way we humans do, the more excited they get. Even if you are not a strong swimmer, you will still have a most memorable encounter. The water depth is only 10 to 30 feet.
These encounters can last 5 minutes, or 5 hours; it is up to the dolphins. We are in their world, on their terms. These dolphins have never been captive or fed. They are with us because they want to be. They have become accustomed to humans cruising these beautiful waters and over the years have learned to interact with us. The numbers of dolphins can range from 2 to 50, we really never know. One thing is for sure; each interaction is different and special in its own way. It is an amazing feeling to “connect” with a dolphin, eye to eye.
Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella Frontalis) are the dolphins of White Sand Ridge, a shallow sand bank located on the Little Bahama Bank. These are the dolphins we will mostly be searching for, however bottle nose dolphins also frequent White Sand Ridge. The Atlantic bottlenose are not known for being as playful, but over the years we have found they are warming up to us. Many times there will be bottlenose dolphins mixed in with a pod of spotted dolphins.
During our encounter we may see the dolphins feeding in the sand on razor wrasse and small flounders or chasing flying fish on the surface. We’ll see them interacting with each other as they are very family oriented and have strong bonds within the pod. They rarely swim without touching one another with their pectoral fins. Touching is a very important form of communication among dolphins, young and old. It is their way of reaffirming their connections and love.
“Catch the seaweed” is a game where they pass a piece of seaweed around as a game. It is a very fun thing to watch. If we’re lucky, we may get a chance to see dolphins mating. This is truly a magical experience.
Private charters for up to 11 people – Just family, friends and… Dolphins!
Also during these trips, we’ll head out along the bank in deep water at night, looking for the dolphins feeding on flying fish and squid. Once found, we get in to snorkel with them around the boat. A very exciting nighttime activity!