Sunday, 24 July 2005

Bimini Dolphins

In July 2005, I visited Bimini in the Bahamas where I snorkelled with wild dolphins. I flew into Fort Lauderdale, Florida and had an overnight there before we caught our seaplane to the island the next morning.

Bimini has some lovely palm-decorated beaches and our resort was in a great seafront location. Our boat was a comfortable catamaran.

On our first trip out to sea, we saw only bottlenose dolphins which are not as curious or friendly as the spotted dolphins we'd gone to swim with. These animals spent most of their time foraging in the sandy seabed for hidden prey, but they didn't seem to mind us snorkelling on the surface above them.


On subsequent boat trips we encountered Bimini's famous spotted dolphins. These animals are renown for their special relationship with humans. They actively seek out boats and love to bow-ride, but when the boat stops they don't get bored and swim off like other dolphin species.



When snorkellers get into the water, the dolphins usually hang around and seem quite entertained. The encounter is strictly 'hands off' and, although the dolphins swim amongst the snorkellers at speed, they are incredibly agile so they don't touch the humans either!