Monday, December 27, 2010

Dolphin Story and Sightings Make Sanibel/Useppa Cruise Unforgettable

Despite the atypically cool, windy weather today, we took off with visiting friends to cruise to Useppa from Sanibel Island.

Thankfully, it was sunny and the very shallow water did not make the crossing rough.

It's always fun to visit this tiny, verdant island, only an hour from Sanibel, and to take lunch at lovely hotel there.

But today was a special trip home.

As we had been told would happen, the cooler weather makes the dolphin population particularly lively. On the way back, we saw dozens of them, one pod of females and babies with a couple of especially large ladies.

The tour guide on the boat was as excited as we to see such a large group of dolphin traveling together. And she told us a story that really moved everyone on the boat.

Not long ago, a few men out gathering crab traps noticed that an especially small and young dolphin had been caught up in the crab trap nets. It could not get free and the momma dolphin was going under the baby and pushing it up so that it could get air. The fishermen knew that they had to free the baby or there would be dire consequences.

So they brought the little one on board and wanted to cut the net around it to set it free. But the little dolphin was so frightened and stressed that it would not stay still and the fishermen were afraid to set their knives to the net in the event they cut the baby dolphin. But then the mother edged up onto the ramp of the boat and began communicating to her child through a series of clicks and whistles. In no time at all, the baby dolphin stopped its thrashing and the net was cut.

They released it back into the water where momma was waiting.

Not far off were several other females, and the baby with mommy dolphin swam over to them, and off they went, the fishermen standing and staring in awe.

There was no doubt in their minds that the mother dolphin had "told" the baby to stay still, that she had sensed their good intention, and "knew" that they meant the baby no harm.

Those who work in and with the sea, who live on and know Sanibel and all the treasures that the Island holds, are delighted by such stories, in the seeing and in the telling.


Tootie said...

I love this story. :)

Tootie said...

I love this story. :)

Samba said...

Me,too, Tootie!