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Swim with dolphins charters?

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Swim with dolphins charters?

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(@warmweatherfan)
Posts: 27
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Are there any charters that take people to swim with dolphins? I'm not interested in going to an aquarium and seeing them. Would much rather do so in their natural habitat. I will be on Water Island in November so something out of St. Thomas would be great!

Thank you!

 
Posted : July 31, 2011 3:01 pm
(@dntw8up)
Posts: 580
Honorable Member
 

warmweatherfan wrote:
Are there any charters that take people to swim with dolphins? I'm not interested in going to an aquarium and seeing them. Would much rather do so in their natural habitat.

You are not part of their "natural habitat," and is unkind to invade the habitats of others. 😀

 
Posted : July 31, 2011 7:46 pm
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3318
Famed Member
 

There have been many documented encounters with dolphins throughout the world and several from the USVI. I was privy to one such incredibly memorable experience many years ago when I crewed on a fishing boat on the annual Bastille Day tournament. Several stinky barracuda catches and many hours later, we were headed back around the West end of STT en route to Hull Bay and, all of a sudden, a group of porpoises gathered around the boat and merrily followed us for over 15 minutes. They put on quite a show, doing dive routines around the boat and grinning all the while. It was an enchanting experience to say the least.

There is a "swim with the dolphins" outfit on Tortola in the BVI where these wonderful creatures are confined in a virtual cesspool for the benefit of dumb tourists who pay to enter the area and "play" with the captive dolphins. Thank goodness we have no such thing here in the USVI and I would be at the forefront to challenge anyone who even thought of doing anything similar here.

At the right time in the right place you just MIGHT enjoy such an encounter au naturel but it's a rare experience. Cheers!

 
Posted : July 31, 2011 11:22 pm
(@ms411)
Posts: 872
Prominent Member
 

The islands of Dominica and St Lucia have whale/dolphin watching excursions pretty much year-round. You can google for the whale migration routes - it's pretty interesting, I think. They follow the plankton, and I think those islands produce more of it than most of the other islands.

At certain times of the year (Jan - Apr?) whales are plentiful off the west coast of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Coral World on St Thomas has numerous animal encounters - sharks, turtles, and a swim with the sea lion which is very popular.

You'll see lots of sea life in the VI when you go snorkeling!

 
Posted : August 1, 2011 9:46 am
(@rockydock)
Posts: 140
Estimable Member
 

Every so often a lone dolphin will show up in Druif Bay, among the boats on moorings, in front of Honeymoon Beach on Water Island. I have gone out in a rowing dinghy to be near it, and several of the island children have been able to swim near it. Not something you can plan on, but interesting adventure when it happens.

Rocky Dock
Water Island

 
Posted : August 1, 2011 9:48 am
(@judithera)
Posts: 5
Active Member
 

I was one of the "dumb tourists" that STT Resident referred to. While I resent being called "dumb" after spending thousands of dollars to help the STT economy, I will say that the Tortola Dolphin Discovery is not what the website presents. Tripadvisor shows many great reviews which is why I wanted to try it. BUT, the only swimming is a short (10-15 feet) dorsal pull and foot push. The little interaction you had was only for the purpose of the camera so the venue can try to make more money.

A local did recommend the interaction with the sea lions as mentioned in an earlier reply.

 
Posted : August 2, 2011 10:26 am
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3318
Famed Member
 

judithera wrote:
I was one of the "dumb tourists" that STT Resident referred to. While I resent being called "dumb" after spending thousands of dollars to help the STT economy, I will say that the Tortola Dolphin Discovery is not what the website presents. Tripadvisor shows many great reviews which is why I wanted to try it. BUT, the only swimming is a short (10-15 feet) dorsal pull and foot push. The little interaction you had was only for the purpose of the camera so the venue can try to make more money.

A local did recommend the interaction with the sea lions as mentioned in an earlier reply.

I'm confused. Inasmuch as I referenced "dumb" where visitors and exponents of the dolphin experience on Tortola is concerned, that "dolphin experience" in Tortola has nothing whatsoever to do with St Thomas or the rest of the USVI.
I remain on the fence where the sea lions at Coral World are concerned.

I acknowledge with all due respect your spending "thousands of dollars to help the STT economy". I'm assuming that the cost has been worth it, that you've been able to escape, relax and enjoy? If there be a rub then pray tell! 😀

 
Posted : August 2, 2011 11:30 am
(@itsconnie)
Posts: 10
Active Member
 

All you have to do is watch "The Cove" and you would never swim with a dolphin. We did it years ago in the Keys and although it was fun, we didn't know at the time that dolphins are slaughtered and captured for humans to have fun. It's disgusting really.

I remember the water being murky and smelly.

Maybe you could be lucky enough to be near a dolphin in their real environment. I was lucky enough in Sanibel Florida to get close enough to touch a dolphin in the wild. That's the way it should be....:-)

 
Posted : August 2, 2011 1:21 pm
(@toes-in-the-sand)
Posts: 263
Reputable Member
 

itsconnie wrote:
All you have to do is watch "The Cove" and you would never swim with a dolphin. We did it years ago in the Keys and although it was fun, we didn't know at the time that dolphins are slaughtered and captured for humans to have fun. It's disgusting really.

I remember the water being murky and smelly.

Maybe you could be lucky enough to be near a dolphin in their real environment. I was lucky enough in Sanibel Florida to get close enough to touch a dolphin in the wild. That's the way it should be....:-)

ewww...who would want to swim with a slaughtered dolphin?
We did swam with dolphins once in the Florida Keys. The location was not in an enclosed area. The dolphins were free to come and go although I suspect that they were enticed with rewards of food and such.

 
Posted : August 2, 2011 1:55 pm
(@sapphirebeach08)
Posts: 227
Estimable Member
 

I totally agree with calling tourists "dumb" when they insist on doing these environmentally toxic activities in the name of getting "back to nature" or just for "fun". I too saw "The Cove". My daughter asked about swimming with the dolphins and once I explained how the dolphins were treated she lost interest fast. I never was a big fan of Sea World and the like; now I know I will never walk through those gates again. Tourists need to be more respectful of the places they visit. My blood just boils when the cruisers come to our beach, trash it, stomp all over the reef and then board the boat for another island where they'll do the same. I wonder how they would feel if we visited their home and dumped trash in the front yard.

 
Posted : August 2, 2011 3:36 pm
(@itsconnie)
Posts: 10
Active Member
 

toes in the sand wrote:
[quote=itsconnie]
All you have to do is watch "The Cove" and you would never swim with a dolphin. We did it years ago in the Keys and although it was fun, we didn't know at the time that dolphins are slaughtered and captured for humans to have fun. It's disgusting really.

I remember the water being murky and smelly.

Maybe you could be lucky enough to be near a dolphin in their real environment. I was lucky enough in Sanibel Florida to get close enough to touch a dolphin in the wild. That's the way it should be....:-)

ewww...who would want to swim with a slaughtered dolphin?
We did swam with dolphins once in the Florida Keys. The location was not in an enclosed area. The dolphins were free to come and go although I suspect that they were enticed with rewards of food and such.

Toes, maybe you read wrong. You CAN'T swim with slaugtered dolphins.

We swam in the Keys too and the area IS enclosed. They only open the area if a hurricane is coming.

 
Posted : August 3, 2011 7:39 am
(@toes-in-the-sand)
Posts: 263
Reputable Member
 

The place we visited in the Keys was NOT enclosed. There was no threat of hurricane. This seemed to be a couple home who supplemented their income with this venture. It was not a regular swim with the dolphins like we saw in Cozumel. We paid a small fee, we watched as someone enticed the dolphins into the dock with a bell and food. If I recall the sign listed only one or two times a day that this was offered. We were invited to don a lifejacket and get into the water. There was no dorsal riding or pushing at all. We simply swam and the dolphins came in close enough to touch and pet. As far as swimming with slaughtered dolphins, I figured that was not really a popular tourist attraction. Even this tourist is not that dumb!

 
Posted : August 4, 2011 7:22 am
(@linda-j)
Posts: 844
Prominent Member
 

If they are in the neighborhood, dolphins often swim along with the catamarans going out to Buck Island.

 
Posted : August 4, 2011 8:08 am
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