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Dolphins In Large Numbers, Active & Playful All Week!

The 3rd week of April saw another beautiful autumn’s week here in Mandurah with temperatures in the mid 20’s.  The dolphins were sighted every day and on most of our cruises.  They were throughout our waterways in large numbers and were very active all week.  The dolphins were quick to swim over to our boat and greet us on many occasions this week.  They are very social creatures and will often approach humans out of curiosity.  They are also very cheeky, playful creatures; on one instance this week the dolphins were in such a playful mood that they were chasing each other around our boat!  They were again sighted tail slapping this week to encourage us to accelerate and give them a free ride.  The dolphins also scored some impressive air time on many occasions this week when joining us for a ride on our waves.  On the 19th April in particular, they put on an amazing display; jumping high out of the water, landing on their backs, spiraling through the water and all round showing off to our guests on board!  Bottlenose dolphins have been observed to breach up to 16 feet (4.9 meters) out of the water, landing with a splash on their back or side!  Young dolphin calves were sighted on numerous occasions again this week and they had plenty of energy.  They tended to be in pods with other mothers and calves which is a great protection measure for the young ones.  A lone male dolphin was sighted on one of our cruises on the 21st April in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  It was in a very playful mood, joining us for a surf on our waves to Stingray Point.  It is rare for lone male dolphins to be so active as they aren’t very sociable and usually too busy trying to find some food and diving deep; not surfacing for long periods of time.  On the 15th April a pod of 6 dolphins were sighted in the Port Mandurah Canals mating which is great news for Mandurah’s future dolphin population.  Dolphins have some ability to taste and are able to detect the four basic stimuli (sweet, sour, bitter and salt).  This can be used for reproduction; a female dolphin that is ready to breed releases some potent chemical stimuli that attract males.  This chemical stimuli can linger in the water for hours.  Their ability to detect the four basic stimuli can also be used for locating other dolphins, finding food, orientation and stress sensitivity.  In terms of orientation, many of the ocean’s currents have distinct chemical traces that dolphins may use to navigate.

15th April –  Our 11am cruise sighted 2 dolphins between the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge and New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  They were casually swimming along searching for food and joined us for a surf on our boat’s waves for a short while.  These same 2 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise and again joined us for a surf on our boat’s waves.  They were showing off to our guests on board, playing on the whitewash.  On our 2pm cruise a pod of 6 dolphins were sighted in the Port Mandurah Canals having some ‘adult time’ (mating) until we came along.  On our approach they came over to our boat to greet our guests and slap their tails on the surface to encourage us to accelerate and give them a free ride.  The speed limit through the Port Mandurah Canals is only 5 knots so we can’t work up too much of a wave for the dolphins; however we still managed enough for them to have some fun.  A large pod of 10 + dolphins were sighted on our 4pm cruise in the Main Estuary Channel near Stingray Point.  They were heading towards the ocean entrance and were in a very playful mood, sighted chasing each other on our approach.  They joined us for a surf on our waves to the Mandurah Ocean Marina and were showing off, leaping high into the air and spiraling through the water.  3 of the dolphins in this pod were young calves, around 3 – 4 months of age and they too were very energetic getting some impressive air time!

dolphin

dolphin

16th April –  5 dolphins were sighted on our 11am cruise near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  They were making their way towards the Peel Inlet and were in a very playful mood so they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our bow.  On our 12 noon cruise 2 large female dolphins were sighted heading out of Mandjar Bay.  They came over to greet our guests before joining us for a ride under our bow to near the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  Our 1pm cruise sighted 3 dolphins searching for food in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were working as a team to round up some fish and seemed to be having some luck as we observed them from nearby.  No dolphins were sighted along our cruise route on our 2pm cruise and there were no cruises following this one.

dolphin

dolphin

17th April –  On our 11am cruise 2 dolphins were sighted near the Mandurah War Memorial.  They were sleeping; just floating on the surface and cruising along very slowly.  Our 12 noon cruise sighted another 2 dolphins at the Southern entrance of the Port Mandurah Canals.  This pair was searching for food and joined us for a ride to near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge where they were distracted by a passing school of fish.  3 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise along the shallows of Fairbridge Road.  They were casually swimming along towards the ocean entrance.  On our approach they swam over to our boat and joined us for a ride under our boat’s bow.  They were nudging and rolling over each other; competing with each other as to who could get the prime position.  On our 2pm cruise 4 dolphins were sighted at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  2 of these dolphins were rounding up fish on the rock walls whilst the other two were having a snooze.  Our 2pm cruise sighted 2 dolphins along the shallows of Soldier’s Cove also having a bit of a snooze and swimming along very slowly.  2 dolphins were sighted on our 4pm cruise in stage 3 of the Port Mandurah canals.  They were using the rock walls to assist them in rounding up fish and we observed them from nearby as they did so.

dolphin

dolphin

18th April –  Our 11am cruise sighted 4 dolphins just past the Mandurah Ocean Marina making their way out to the ocean.  They weren’t a playful bunch; however we followed them along to the entrance where we could not proceed any further.  On our 12 noon cruise 2 dolphins were sighted along the shallows of Fairbridge Road.  They joined a passing large vessel for a ride on their waves out to the ocean and so we followed along behind.  2 pods of 5 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise.  The first pod was sighted near Stingray Point searching for some food so we observed them from nearby as they weren’t too interested in us.  The second pod was sighted near the Waterside canal entrance.  Half of this pod was sleeping and on our approach they all swam over to our boat and just hung around, checking out our guests.  As we proceeded along our cruise route they swam alongside us for a while.  Our 2pm cruise sighted these same 2 pods from the 1pm cruise in the same areas.  The first pod of 5 dolphins was sighted near the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  Now with some food in their bellies they were in a very playful mood and were very quick to swim over to our boat.  Much to our guest’s excitement, they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  Everybody had their cameras snapping away as the dolphins leapt playfully into the air and spiraled through the water and over each other.  The second pod was sighted near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge still having a snooze and casually swimming along.  Our 3pm cruise also sighted these same 2 pods of dolphins both now to the south of the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  They weren’t very active; just casually swimming along towards the Peel Inlet and so we cruised alongside them as they did so.

dolphin

dolphin

19th April –  No dolphins were sighted along our cruise route this morning.  1 dolphin was sighted on our 1pm cruise near the Mandurah Ocean Marina rounding up fish on the rock walls.  It appeared to be having some luck as a few fish were thrown up onto the rocks.  On our 2pm cruise 5 dolphins were sighted near Stingray Point.  2 members of this pod were young calves around 3 months of age.  On our approach they swam over to our boat to greet our guests and so we slowed down momentarily which they did not approve of as they wanted to go for a ride.  So they slapped their tails playfully on the water to encourage us to accelerate.  We did so and they joined us for a surf on our boat’s waves to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we could not proceed any further.  They put on an amazing display; jumping high out of the water, landing on their backs, spiraling through the water and all round showing off to our guests on board!  This same pod was also sighted on our 4pm cruise.  They were now in Mandjar Bay they were searching for some food and so we observed them from nearby.

dolphin

dolphin

20th April –  No dolphins were sighted along our cruise route this morning.  On our 12 noon cruise 2 dolphins were sighted in the Port Mandurah canals searching for food.  They were diving deep and after surfacing a few times disappeared.  They must have surfaced in one of the canals branching off of the main canal channel.  These same 2 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise now at the Southern entrance of the Port Mandurah canals.  Now with some food in their bellies they were in a playful mood and joined us for a long ride on our boat’s waves to past the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  These playful dolphins were leaping about and swimming along with their bellies facing the sky so they could watch our guests watching them.  The dolphins were next sighted on our 4pm cruise; a mother and her young calf were searching for food in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  We observed them from nearby as they went about their way.  Our 5pm Sundowner cruise was also sighted in the Mandurah Ocean Marina rounding up fish on the rock walls.  Being a lone male it was hungry and not too interested in us.

dolphin

dolphin

21st April –  1 dolphin was sighted on our 10am cruise near the Mandurah Ocean Marina and contrary to the norm, this lone male was in a very active mood.  It swam over to our boat to join us for a ride on our waves to Stingray Point.  On departure of our 11am cruise 2 dolphins were sighted in Mandjar Bay looking for some breakfast.  We observed them from nearby as they did so.  Our 12 noon cruise sighted 4 dolphins at the Entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were in a very playful mood, swimming over to our boat on our approach and then joining us for a ride on our boat’s waves and bow to the Port Mandurah Canal entrance.  5 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise in the main Estuary Channel in front of Kings Carnival.  They were quick to swim over to our boat on our approach and joined us for a ride on our waves for 10 – 15minutes towards the ocean!  They were surfing on both sides of our boat and riding under the bow and put on a great show for our guests on board.  On our 3pm cruise 6 dolphins were sighted along the shallows of Fairbridge Road heading towards the ocean.  2 members of this pod were young calves around 3 months of age.  It was raining rather heavy at the time and so it was hard to see them in the water as they swam alongside us to the ocean.  Our 4pm cruise sighted 3 dolphins along the shallows of the Eastern Foreshore.  They were in a playful mood and as we slowed down on our approach to them they were chasing each other around our boat.  They then joined us for a short ride on our boat’s waves to the Port Mandurah Canal entrance.

dolphin

dolphin

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There were many photos and videos taken during this week and we get them up on our website and Facebook page soon.

We also encourage you to share your sightings, photos and videos on our Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/MandurahCruises

And remember, if you would like to join us on a cruise and see Mandurah dolphins just visit the 1hr Dolphin & Canal Cruise page for more info and to book online.

http://mandurahcruises.com.au/

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Check out this awesome app / game available on iTunes or Sega Mega Drive and Sony PlayStation for those that are more old school:

https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/ecco-the-dolphin/id324598069?mt=8

Ecco the dolphin is an action-adventure game originally developed by Novotrade International for the Mega Drive, and published by Sega in the 90’s.  Much to the excitement of our team at Mandurah Cruises, it has now been turned into an app/game for the Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad and can be purchased from the iTunes store!  You can “Play like a real dolphin using sonar, catching air and singing as you explore the beautiful deep sea.  Explore over 25 beautiful levels to unravel the cause of a mysterious storm and rescue Ecco’s pod.  Sing to communicate with other sea animals, uncover hidden paths and attack dangerous sea lurkers.”  You can also “Destroy enemies by charging into them. You have two bars – a health bar and an oxygen bar. You can keep your oxygen bar up by regularly resurfacing and you can refill your health bar by eating smaller fish.”  Another feature of the game that play on actual dolphin habits include echolocation.  One of the buttons causes Ecco to “sing, allowing him to speak with other cetaceans and interact with certain objects. The same button is used for echolocation; holding it down would cause the song to return, generating a map of the area.”

More Information on Ecco The Dolphin please visit the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecco_the_Dolphin

eccob

eccoa

eccoc

 

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Mandurah’s Dolphins

Mandurah has a healthy population of Bottle Nose Dolphins (tusiops truncatus) that is estimated to number up to 75 individuals, depending on the time of year. The number increases around mating times when males come in and join the pods. The pods of dolphins average around 10-15 and have sometimes been seen to be as large as 25 down to solitary dolphins or smaller family groups of 3-4.

Their average length is about 3 metres, with calves being about 1 metre long at birth. We normally see baby dolphins appear between December and April. Mandurah's wild dolphins are medium grey in colour with light flanks and pale bellies. They can live up to 30 years and can swim in short bursts up to 40km/h and they love to play in our ferries bow waves and wash. As a matter of fact dolphins are the only other mammals apart from humans that continue to play well into their adult life. And Mandurah's wild dolphins are very playful!

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