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Sunday, 15 December 2013

SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS!

As enjoyable experiences go, I think this one will feature among the best of the best! So for my Sunday share, a snippet from my diary whilst on  our Ozzie trip visiting my family and old haunts.  Hubby had pre-booked a tour while we're in Perth to swim with the dolphins - these dolphins are  wild and in their natural habitat and it was luck of the draw whether or not they would make an appearance, but make one they did!

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Before wrapping up the tour, a group photo on back of the launch, most of us back in civvies minus those wet suits - they weighed a ton when you got out of the water!

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Proof that I actually took to the water, top left of 1st convoy, 3rd one along  where hubby is just about to divest me of my belt! 

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My hubby is on the end bringing up the rear wearing an anti shark electronic device round his ankle.  Eeek!  You heard right, but we were assured that we would be safe, as this is a deterrent after all!

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This is another group and you can see the pod of dolphins in this pic much better.

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Last but not least the Dolphins!  A bit of fact for you in case you're interested but also to record it so I don't forget! These are the more common Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops Delphinidae oceanic dolphin.  There are two species, the common Tursiops truncatus and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin - the Tursiops aduncus. I think if I remember the guide's lecture - these were the aduncus.

They live in groups of 10-30 members called pods.  Their diets consists of foraged fish and they often work as a team to harvest fish schools but they can hunt individually too.  They use echolocation, similar to sonar, and emit clicking sounds and listen for the returning echos to determine the location and shapes of nearby objects and potential hostile prey.  They also use sound to communicate - like squeaks, and whistles emitted from their blowholes or through their body language like leaping through the water and slapping their tails on the surface of the water.

Unusually, we had a male dolphin swimming with us, they are bigger and darker than the females. The females tend to the young and swim in groups but the males don't. The reason why is because he had been dining on the barbs of the poisonous puffer fish. Some members of the tour group had seen a school of puffer fish, they are extremely poisonous to humans and can paralyse and kill a human within hours, but they are harmless to dolphins. The tour guide reckons that he must have got  high on it and joined the rest of the pod to play!

How lucky am I, I'm still grinning from ear to ear!

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