Saturday, November 12, 2005

11-12 November - A badly mangled fin

Friday was much ado about very little. The Ds were not in Bay 2 so I parked at Bay 1 and waited. Before long there were several fins noticeable about 600 metres from shore. I decided to kick out and see what happened. I was about 300 metres out when a fin or two appeared about 15m in front of me. They kept surfacing within 20 or so metres for a couple of minutes and then dived while facing in my direction. I counted 8 as they swam under me but that was it. A fleeting visit and then they went about their business, diappearing towards the outer reef.
One of them had a dorsal fin which had major damage. The top third was ragged and actually snapped off. It was hanging on by the "skin". I have never seen this sort of damage to a dolphin in this area before. I can only imagine that it was caused by an encounter with a propellor or a large predator. The water around here is deep enough so that prop damage is rare. If I get the chance in coming weeks I'll try to get a close look to see if there are bite marks present. I don't know if it's a D that or know or a stranger. I suspect the latter.
Saturday was similar. When i arrived at Bay 1 there were a few dolphins about only about 50 metres from shore doing a bit of foraging. I went in about 50m away from them so as not to interfere with breakfast and they swam over. One of the youngsters darted around in front of me as tho testing out its nerve. They swam off toward the outer reef almost immediately.
Later in the morning there was some high speed surging by about 6 Ds near the outer reef. I considered going out but the wind was getting up and it takes me about 15 minutes to get there so I called it a day and headed for home.