• Michelle Starr

Self-aware Bottlenose dolphins loving Summers hightides.


At the beginning of every tour, I introduce myself, go over my credentials, my rules as well as the federal laws regarding dolphins and manatees. Federal law regarding dolphins is simple, don’t feed or harasses them and its with good reason. It can be very tempting to want to cuddle and feed these spectacular beings, especially when they have been as social as they have over the last week. They have quite literally come to join every tour I have taken out and almost every rental. In fact, every morning I head down the launch to check the water and see dolphins playing in the cove. Right now, with warm waters, extra high tides, and rapid ebb and flow they are extra active and social.

Summer tides are higher than winter tides because of the difference between summer and winter water temperatures; rainfall and seasonal changes in air temperature; and wind. (For example, cold water takes up less volume than warm water, so the tides in winter are lower.) During incoming high tides, dolphins often congregate in larger groups because of the way they hunt and how their favorite fish such as mullet behave. Which is one reason morning paddle adventures around the sound usually include a better dolphin show that you will ever see at SeaWorld.

Dolphin intelligence and human like behavior is another reason bottlenose dolphins are a frequent visitor during a mermaid adventure or a paddling exploration around the sound. To say that dolphins are highly intelligent is an understatement if you ask me, I mean, if you compile the science, I think they are possibly more conscious than humans. Dolphins are self-aware, meaning they don’t just recognize themself in the mirror, but they are conscious of their strengths, weaknesses, actions and can remember a friends click and whistle after 20 years. They clearly display compassion and empathy and it’s even been said they have fallen in love with humans. This behavior is likely what began all the dolphin mythology thousands of years ago that has led to humans love of them today. I get to paddle and observe these magical beings nearly every day and it never gets old, especially since I am quite sure there is a few I have gotten to know over the last few years. The best way to learn about the bottlenose dolphin is not SeaWorld, but with a mermaid and joining them in their natural environment. So don’t be shy, book your adventure today and come play and learn more about what makes the bottlenose dolphin so special.





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