I swam with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins! As our boat crashed through the waves of the Atlantic ocean, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins jumped and played in the boat's wake. The dolphins were familiar with the boat, and knew that we were there to swim with them. A family of dolphins, called a pod, chased after the boat and surfed in the waves of the boat's wake.
After we let the dolphins play with the boat, we put on our snorkeling gear and jumped in with them. I could hear the dolphins' sonar. Dolphins whistle and chirp, and use the echos from their songs to locate fish and other objects underwater. The dolphins swam near to us, within 2 or 3 feet, and looked us in the eye. We were careful not to try to touch the dolphins, as this has been known to scare them away. We swam with this pod for 30 minutes. We saw these dolphins near the island of Bimini, in shallow water no more than 40 feet deep.
This photograph was taken by photographer Takaji Ochi. Taka is a scuba-diving photographer who lives in Japan. We are grateful for his contribution to ReefNews. Thanks, Taka! Taka also took this photograph, which shows his friend Mina swimming with the dolphins.
Learn more about the Coral Reefs of Bimini on the 2001 ReefNews CD-ROM
Bimini: Jewel of the Gulf Stream