Recently, I watched The Cove, a documentary about a huge dolphin slaughter that happens in Japan every year after dolphin trainers from around the world go there to purchase dolphins for their aquariums/dolphin experiences/shows. It was horrifying to watch, and even more horrifying to learn that dolphins are not protected by any organization. I’ve always wanted to see dolphins close up and had wanted to go to Atlantis and do their dolphin experience there. Not after watching that. I will not give my money to support this ongoing practice.
So I’d resigned myself to the fact that I’d probably never see any close up and in person. We can see them from a distance, playing in the Gulf, from the balcony of my mom’s condo on Orange Beach, Alabama.
But then I started looking into the many dolphin cruises that are offered around the Gulf. I was skeptical at first, thinking that they were lured to the boat in some way. But I quickly discovered that wasn’t the case. I chose the Cold Mil Fleet cruise leaving from Orange Beach. Two boats go out at the same time and they drive together side by side with about 50 feet in between them, creating a large wake between the boats.
What happens then is nothing short of amazing. Immediately, dolphins rush to the wake and jump in and out of it…flipping and spiraling alone and together. They’re clearly having fun and enjoying themselves. It was incredible. Sometimes it seemed like they were showing off for their audience. They aren’t fed or lured to the boats in any way. The dolphins just know that a big wave is coming and rush to play in it.
I got some great action shots with my fixed 85mm. Thank goodness I brought that lens instead of the 10-22mm wide angle I was thinking of bringing. The 85mm put me at the perfect distance for some incredible shots. To see more, check out my flickr photostream.