Dolphins and Us
Part One: The Smartest of Us All?
“So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!”
Amazing Abilities of Dolphins
Dolphins or Humans: Who’s Smarter?
Dolphin Society and Culture
They’re Super-Brainy, Too
More Fascinating Stuff
The Great Researcher
A Society that Works
Are Dolphins “Persons”
Life and Culture
How Smart is a Dolphin?
Experimenting on Dolphins
My Visit to the Dolphins
Other Links & Videos
Mirror Self-Recognition Test
The Herman Investigation
The Minds of Whales
“A beautiful creature with liquid eyes was gazing up at me as we motored along.”
While you should never go swimming with dolphins in tanks and pools at seaquariums, it’s OK to go out on the ocean and see if the dolphins want to come and visit you.
A reputable company will not go bothering the dolphins in their home waters and feeding areas; they’ll go to a “neutral” meeting area where, they’ll tell you in advance, it’s up to the dolphins whether they want to visit or not. Don’t be upset if they don’t; it should always be on their terms. Estelle Munro went on a lucky day … the dolphins came to the boat.
By Estelle Munro
All my life I’d dreamed of swimming with dolphins. And I’ve met several others who have shared the same dream. So when it came time to plan a honeymoon, I said, “Let’s go swimming with dolphins!”
Harry and I joined up with a group of about 12 others in Bimini, the Bahamas, led by Rebecca Fitzgerald. Rebecca has years of experience being around dolphins and she trained us all carefully in the proper etiquette for socializing with these guys. She explained that you should never feed dolphins (or any wild animals) as it initiates an unnatural relationship. She further cautioned that we should not touch our new friends as their skin is super sensitized and this can be uncomfortable for them. If they wanted to touch us, that would be their prerogative but we were to keep our hands to ourselves.
The area around Bimini is know for an abundance of spotted dolphins, so if you travel around on your boat for a while eventually the dolphins will hear you and may come to say hello. The first time we saw them we slowed to a crawl and a small group of them came and swam alongside the boat.
One of them was right beside me and turned to look up at me. A beautiful creature with liquid eyes was gazing up at me as we motored along. The feeling of intense and electrified contact was overwhelming. Tears came streaming down my face and I felt more joyful and alive at that moment than I ever thought was possible. I think that’s because the dolphins echolocate on us and that’s how they communicate. And I think what I was sensing was their nature – their spirit. They spend a lot of their time just playing. They’re happy, joyful creatures, and I think they communicate that to us. You look at them and you feel, “Wow, life is wonderful!”
One lady said that when she was in the water, a dolphin came up underneath her and bumped up against her belly and pushed her upwards, and she floated along with the dolphin for a while.
I’m certain that there is a bond between humans and dolphins. I think they’re intrigued by us, and curious. And this curiosity and mutual wonder and respect is filled with intelligence moving in both directions.
If you’re thinking of going out to visit the dolphins, do some research to make sure you’re going with a reputable outfit. I’ve heard about people going out and taking fish with them to attract the dolphins. And that’s not good. The less interference, the more natural the communication.
We went out to visit with them five or six times in all, and as the days of the trip unfolded we all had more encounters with our new friends and grew to feel an unforgettable love that I will always cherish.