Swimming With Dolphins

Swimming With Dolphins

Photography Courtesy of Taylor Hasson

There are so many special things that we get to take advantage of when living in the Virgin Islands, but if I had to name the absolute best and most memorable activity, it would be swimming with dolphins.  I’ll never forget my first “dophin encounter”…we were out on the ocean with some friends on Sea Doos.  We bumped into a few dolphins just off shore near Green Cay Island and our first instinct was to jump in with them to see if we could entice them to play.  Sadly, as soon as our toes hit the water, they disappeared.  The following week I was chatting with one of my college professors and he informed me that we were lucky that they didn’t want to “play”–although gentle in nature, they are strong and “playing” could result in some painful bruises.

Fast forward several years…I occasionally saw dolphins as we traveled to and from Buck Island.  They swam at the bow of our boat then quickly disappeared.   I’m not exactly sure how or when this “relationship” with the dolphin in our area changed, but it has now transitioned into a very unique and comfortable experience.  Frequently now when we jump in the water with them, they stay with us…they play, spin, dive and just in general “hang out” with us in the water.

One particular afternoon while we were anchored just outside Buck Island National Park with a boat full of kids and adults, we spotted two pairs of dolphins.  We quickly scrambled to find snorkel gear and fins so that we could get the best view under the water.  These 4 put on quite the show, staying close for the entire afternoon.  The current was powerful and it took all our energy to keep up and not drift away from the boat and we could only stay in for about 20 minutes before having to take a break.  Fortunately, there were so many of us that we just did rotations for several hours and just when we thought they were done and wanted to move on, if someone jumped in the water, they came right back.  It was really the most amazing day on the water that I think I’ve ever had.

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict when we will have this opportunity again…it just sheer luck.  But my advice is to take advantage of it when it happens.  Not to say that my college professor was wrong…I guess there is an inherent risk to swimming with wild animals, but it’s a risk that I’m willing to take!  If you should ever have the opportunity yourself, here are some  basic rules for engagement that will help ensure your safety as well as theirs.

Do you have any pics or videos of your dolphin encounters?  Please share them with us on our Farchette & Hanley Team Facebook Page.

Ready to find the perfect home that allow you to spend more time in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands?  Chris and Kerri Hanley can help you.  As seen on HGTV’s Caribbean Life, he is one of the top agents year after year and the authority on Virgin Islands real estate.  Contact them today anddownload their free guide the 10 Best Reasons for Living on St. Croix.