Tuesday, November 22, 2005

22 Nov - A social gathering

The morning started well.
I rolled into the Bay1 carpark to see 4 dolphins doing a spot of lazy fishing about 120 metres from shore. ( That's about as close as they get in Bay1 ). I changed quickly and kicked out to them. Almost immediately two of them departed at high speed. Was it something I said? Wrong deodorant, perhaps?
An adult and calf remained. The mother is a dolphin I call Smiley because she has the most perfect dolphin "smile" that you could hope to see. She used to be called Four Bob but I think Smiley suits her better. She started playing a game which I had rarely experienced before. She would float to the surface about 10 metres from me and lie there until I moved toward her. She would then dive and swim directly under me, turning on her side to check me out, before disappearing altogether for about a minute. The process was then repeated. Her calf was nowhere to be seen for most of the time which is a little unusual as they are usually pretty tight with their mum when no other Ds are close by. I suspect the calf had joined the other two somewhere in the bay. The calf returned after about 15 mins and the game continued. After about 25 minutes they left at high speed leaving the water with powerful surges. I can't compete with a feed of fish.
I left the water and could see about 4 fins further out diving vigorously in pursuit of fish.
I decided to check out Bay2. When I arrived the bay looked beautiful in the almost still conditions, but no fins. While I was watching a mother and calf floated to the surface about 50 metres from shore. I entered the water as quickly as I could and spent the next hour there. There were never more than 8 Ds in the bay at one time but by my reckoning there were at least 15 different ones came thru. I saw Chunkie, Gummy, Emnick and her tiny calf, Rags ( first sighting this season ) and several others whose fins I know but haven't given names to. There was a bit of fishing going on but it seemed that their main purpose was to socialize and interact with each other. Occasionally, one of the calves would be thrown upwards by one of the older ones giving it a lift from below. One calf executed a perfect leap and reentry about 10 metres from me. If I'd had a scorecard I'd have given it a 5.7 as there was a bit of a splash on the entry.
I was not really central to what was going on althea I was given quite a few swim bays and the occasional circle game from one of the juveniles. I was happy just to sit or lie on my board and watch the relaxed socializing that was going on around me.
There must be plenty of fish around at present as the Ds seem to have far more time to just "hang out".


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