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Curious Dolphins Join In With the Stretch Arts Festivities!

The 1st week of May saw temperatures in the low to mid 20’s with a bit of rain towards the end of the week.  The rainy weather however doesn’t bother the dolphins as funnily enough they don’t mind getting wet.  The dolphins were sighted every day and on most of our cruises.  On most occasions they were searching for food, rounding up and chasing fish.  They were sighted catching plenty of fish, mainly mullet which there have been in our waterways in large numbers these past few weeks.  The plentiful amount of fish the dolphins have been catching is a great indication of how healthy our waterways are!  They were sighted on numerous occasions throwing fish into the air, showing off their catch and playing around as these cheeky creatures do.  On the 3rd May we witnessed one dolphin catch an octopus and then throw it around to other pod members like it was a toy.  Again the dolphins joined us for a ride on our waves and bow on many occasions this week.  They showed off to our guests on board, getting some impressive air time and big splash downs on their back and side.  Nicki, Giggles and the gang joined us on 2nd May for a surf on our boat’s waves.  One of our hostesses that has been with us for a few years now noted that Giggles (Nicki’s calf) who was born last summer is getting big now, growing up so quickly!  A number of the young calves born this summer were sighted during the week and all appear to be doing well, happily riding on our waves and bow by their mother’s side.  This weekend was the Stretch Arts Festival in Mandurah.  “This festival brings the people of Mandurah together through community engagement projects that reflect and celebrate local identity. The focus is on creating a unique, engaging and inspirational festival that celebrates and develops the excellence, value and diversity of local arts, the environment, community and heritage of the Peel Region.”  One of our vessels, the Dancing Dolphin, was involved in one of the main events this weekend – The Incredible Hulls – a musical piece for boats.  This event was held at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club which is located in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  3 quarters of the way through the performance we were joined by a pod of curious dolphins that must have heard all the unusual sounds and came to check out what was going on.  It was the perfect end to the Stretch Arts Festival in Mandurah!

29th April –  On our 11am cruise a lone male dolphin was sighted in the Mandurah Ocean Marina swimming around next to Nino’s Fish Bar.  It was searching for some brunch, rounding up fish around the jetty pillars and we observed him from nearby as he did so.  Our 12 noon cruise sighted 3 dolphins near Stingray Point.  They swam over to our boat on our approach but kept disappearing, making us go around in circles!  Eventually they joined us for a bit of a ride on our boat’s waves to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  These same 3 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise along the shallows of Fairbridge Road.  2 of these dolphins were mating and we observed them from nearby as they did so.  On our 2pm cruise these same 3 dolphins were now sighted near the Mandurah War Memorial.  They appeared to be searching for food and on our approach they joined us for a surf on our boat’s waves, getting some impressive air time, all the way to the ocean.  Our 3pm cruise sighted 3 dolphins chasing fish along the shallows of Soldiers Cove.  They were reaching some very impressive speeds when doing so and putting on a great show for our guests on board as we observed them from nearby.  2 dolphins were sighted on departure of our 4pm cruise, casually swimming along the shallows of the Eastern Foreshore, towards the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.

dolphin

dolphin

30th April –  Our 11am cruise sighted a lone male dolphin in stage 1 of the Port Mandurah Canals.  It was diving deep and so we kept losing it.  4 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise along the shallows of Fairbridge Road chasing fish as well.  2 of these dolphins swam over to our boat to greet our guests on board before resuming their chase for lunch.  On our 1pm cruise 2 female dolphins were sighted in stage 2 of the Port Mandurah Canals.  They were using the canal walls to assist them in rounding up fish.  Our 2pm cruise sighted a lone male dolphin searching for fish in Mandjar Bay.  He didn’t mind us cruising next to him as he did so.  A mother and her calf were sighted on our 3pm cruise in stage 6 of the Port Mandurah Canals.  They were casually swimming along and were quick to come over to our boat on our approach for a surf on our waves.  They stayed with us to the Waterside Canal entrance before getting distracted by a passing school of fish.

dolphin

dolphin

1st May –  2 dolphins were sighted on our 11am cruise in the Mandurah Ocean Marina, hanging around dolphin quay.  On our approach they swam over to the front of our boat, demanding a ride under the bow.  No dolphins were sighted along our cruise route on our 12 noon cruise.  Our 1pm cruise sighted 5 dolphins in the Mandurah Estuary Channel near Fairbridge Road heading towards the city centre.  They joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under the bow to in front of Kings Carnival.  Our 2pm cruise sighted 2 dolphins in the Port Mandurah Canals searching for food.  They joined us for a bit of a ride, however as the speed limit in this area restricts us from picking up much speed they dropped off after a short while.

dolphin

2nd May –  On our 11am cruise 6 dolphins were sighted near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge searching for food.  As we observed them from nearby they chased a school of mullet and broke them up by diving into them from all different directions and throwing them into the air.  They later joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves to the Peel Inlet entrance.  Our 12 noon cruise sighted Nicki, Giggles and the gang in the main estuary channel near Stingray Point.  They swam over to our boat on our approach and joined us for a surf on our waves to the ocean entrance.  One of our hostesses that has been with us for a few years now noted that Giggles (Nicki’s calf) who was born last summer is getting big now, growing up so quickly!  A total of 7 (2, 2 & 3) dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise at various locations along our cruise route.  They were all searching for food and so were too busy to interact with us.  The 3 dolphins sighted towards the end of our cruise joined us for a short ride from the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  On our 2pm cruise 4 dolphins were sighted at the ocean entrance and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves for a few minutes towards the city centre.  Our 3pm cruise sighted 4 dolphins just out of Mandjar Bay.  On our approach they swam over to our boat and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves.  Our guests on board had a fantastic view from the upper deck and the lower main cabin as the dolphins lept off the waves right beside their open windows.

dolphin

dolphin

3rd May –  This day was a good example of how healthy our waterways are as the many dolphins we sighted were catching plenty of fish.  Our 11am cruise sighted a pod of 5 female dolphins in stage 1 of the Port Mandurah Canals rounding up fish.  They appeared to be having some luck as our guests witnessed fish being thrown into the air.  They were too busy to be interested in us and so we observed them from nearby.  3 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise in the Venetian Style canals in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were searching for some lunch and we observed them from nearby as they did so.  Another 2 dolphins were also sighted on this cruise near Fairbridge Road, just casually swimming along.  As we cruised nearby they swam over and went for a surf on our boat’s waves to in front of King’s Carnival.  The same pod from our 11am cruise was again sighted on our 12 noon and 1pm cruises in the same area rounding up fish.  On our 1pm cruise one of these dolphins caught an octopus and was throwing it around to other pod members like it was a toy.  It was quite an amazing event to witness as we observed them from nearby!  Our 2pm cruise sighted a mother and her young calf near Stingray Point.  On our approach they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  4 dolphins were sighted on our 3pm cruise searching for food in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were working together as a team chasing and rounding up fish and were having plenty of luck!

dolphin

dolphin

4th May –  2 dolphins were sighted on our 10am cruise in the Port Mandurah Mandurah Canals using the rock walls to assist them in rounding up fish.  On our 11am cruise 4 dolphins were sighted searching for food just out of Mandjar Bay.  We observed them from nearby as they did so and they eventually made their way into the Port Mandurah Canals.  Our 12 noon cruise sighted these same 4 dolphins now along the shallows of Fairbridge Road.  Now with some food in their bellies they were more active and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves.  They were launching high off the waves and splashing down on their back and side, showing off to all of our guests on board.  6 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise at numerous locations along our cruise route.  1 of these dolphins was a young calf born this summer and stayed in the calf position (by its mother’s side) at all times.  They were searching for food and 2 dolphins in this pod were mating.  On our 2pm cruise the same 4 dolphins from our 12 noon cruise again joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves.  We sighted them making their way out of the Mary Street Boat Ramp area and they stayed with us to the Mandurah War Memorial.  Our 3pm cruise also sighted this pod of 4 dolphins now near the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  They were searching for food and swam alongside our boat to the shallows of Fairbridge Road.  A lone male dolphin was sighted on our 4pm cruise and was in a playful mood, joining us for a quick surf on our boat’s waves before the hunt for some dinner.

dolphin

dolphin

5th May –  On our 10am cruise 3 dolphins were sighted along the shallows of Soldiers Cove.  They were in too shallow waters for us to get close enough to be able to interact with them and so we observed them from nearby.  Our 11am cruise sighted 4 dolphins casually swimming along towards the ocean entrance, we followed behind them.  5 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise near the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge searching for food.  We approached them and they weren’t too interested in us as they were busy catching fish, so we observed them from nearby.  2 of the dolphins in this pod were young calves born this summer.  On our 1pm cruise these same 5 dolphins swam alongside our boat and under the bow for a short distance before dropping off to chase a school of fish.  Our 2pm cruise also sighted this pod of dolphins and now with some food in their bellies they were in a playful mood.  They joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under the bow from the Mandurah Ocean Marina to Stingray Point.  These same 5 dolphins were again sighted on our 3pm cruise along the shallows of Fairbridge Road.  They were swimming along slowly and eventually made their way into the Port Mandurah Canals.  On our 4 pm cruise another pod of 6 dolphins joined this pod of 5 that had been in the Main Estuary Channel all day.  1 of the dolphins in this other pod was also a young calf born this summer and stayed in the calf position (by its mother’s side) at all times.  We sighted them near Stingray Point and they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and bow to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were all rolling over each other and fighting for prime position on the waves and under the bow.  They also got some impressive air time as they all tried to out do each other, showing off to our guests on board.  This weekend was the Stretch Arts Festival in Mandurah.  “This festival brings the people of Mandurah together through community engagement projects that reflect and celebrate local identity. The focus is on creating a unique, engaging and inspirational festival that celebrates and develops the excellence, value and diversity of local arts, the environment, community and heritage of the Peel Region.”  One of our vessels, the Dancing Dolphin, was involved in one of the main events this weekend – The Incredible Hulls – a musical piece for boats.  This event was held at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club which is located in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  3 quarters of the way through the performance we were joined by a pod of dolphins that must have heard all the unusual sounds and came to check out what was going on.  They are very curious creatures!   It was the perfect end to the Stretch Arts Festival in Mandurah!

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 interesting article by The Age:

http://www.theage.com.au/environment/animals/pollution-battle-to-save-the-rare-pink-dolphins-from-extinction-20130507-2j5mb.html

The article discusses warnings by conservationists that “the rare Chinese white dolphins, also known as pink dolphins for their unique colour, face extinction unless urgent action against pollution and other threats is taken.  Experts say their number has dropped significantly in the past few years due to overfishing, an increase in marine traffic, water pollution, habitat loss and coastal development.”

pink dolphin

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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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