Swimming with Wild Spotted Dolphins in the Bahamas

Swimming with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins off the coast of the Bahamas.

A few of my friends encouraged me to grab a last-minute spot on the M/V Dolphin Dream liveaboard. The purpose of this dive trip was to visit the infamous Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. Tiger Beach is considered one of the best place in the world to get up-close and personal with Tiger Sharks.

After a quick flight from LaGuardia Airport to Palm Beach International Airport, I arrive at the Riviera Beach Marina Village where the M/V Dolphin Dream is docked. The M/V Dolphin Dream is an 86-foot ocean expedition charter yacht that mostly cruises the islands of the Bahamas. The yacht is able to accommodate 12 divers or snorkelers in five cabins with upper and lower bunk beds and one large cabin with a double bed.

Our 5-day trip included 3 days of diving mostly at Tiger Beach. On our way to Tiger Beach, Captain Scott spotted a pod of wild dolphins and offered us the opportunity to swim with these animals.

With absolutely no land in sight, we quickly jumped into the open ocean with just our snorkels and fins. We were hoping to swim with the Wild Spotted Dolphins for only a few minutes. The dolphins hung out with us for about 45 minutes.

Wild Spotted Dolphins are frequently observed off the coast of many islands in the Bahamas. The Wild Spotted Dolphins we snorkeled with are also known as Stenella Frontalis or Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are individually recognized by unique spots that develop as they age.

Dolphins pods can be as large as 80 individuals. However, they form smaller sub-groups of about 6-12 individuals. Dolphins in this region can grow to about 7ft. long and weight up to 250lbs. They have an average life span of about 40 years.

Wild Dolphin residents in the Bahamas have a recorded range of 25 miles. They can swim up to 30 miles per hour and jump out of the water over 30ft. These dolphins forage in the shallow Bahamas Sand Banks for Wrasses, Flounders, and Lizard Fish.

Dolphins are generally considered quite intelligent, friend and playful creatures. They use a combination of whistles, barks and other sounds to communicate.

Guides aboard the Dolphin Dream have built relationships with various groups of dolphins. Our dive guide, Finch jumped in the water with us and free dived with his scooter to help keep the dolphins interested. Captain Scott, Colin and Cory kept an watchful eye on the group of dolphins and an eye on our group to maintain safety.

Swimming with the wild dolphins was completely unexpected and enjoyable experience.

For more information about diving with Tiger and Hammerhead Sharks. Please visit: http://www.sharkexpedition.com. My dive trip was organized by Pan Aqua, a local dive shop located in NYC.

I shot the video above with a Gopro Hero 6 Black.

Here’s a link to my underwater camera set-up.

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