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Pod Of Dolphins Adopt A New Friend… A seal!

 

Dolphins were sighted every day and on most of our cruises during the 5th week of May and 1st week of June.  Mandurah experienced a bit of rain on 8 of the days (31mm rain in total) and temperatures hovered around the 20 degree mark.  The bit of rain didn’t deter the dolphins, as it turns out they don’t mind getting wet ;)  Larger pods of around 8 dolphins were sighted on numerous occasions.  All of these large pods were very playful and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow.  They were sighted leaping high into the air, spiralling over each other, swimming belly side up, nudging each other to get the prime position on our boat’s waves, showing off to our guests on board… being their cheeky dolphin selves!  In an extremely rare event on 27th May, a pod of 4 dolphins were sighted to have adopted a new friend… a seal jumped high out of the water a couple of times, racing alongside our boat and the pod of dolphins!  A number of young dolphin calves (3 – 4months old) were sighted over the 2 week period and all appeared to be doing well.  They stayed close to their mother at all times who stayed between them and our boat as a protection measure.  They stayed in their mother’s slip stream to keep up with her and would attempt mimic her as she leapt into the air.  On one occasion a young calf was moving its tail as fast as it could to keep up with its mother.  It was extremely cute, an ultimate ‘aawww’ moment!  On the 1st June a pod of 7+ dolphins were sighted just outside of the ocean entrance randomly launching themselves high into the air.  They put on an amazing display as they leapt about metres into the air and slammed down on their backs creating an almighty splash!  The 3rd June was WA (Western Australia) Day and Mandurah’s dolphins were out and about in large numbers.  2 dolphins on our 12 noon cruise this day were amusing themselves with a piece of seaweed, throwing it around like it was a toy until they sighted out boat and joined us for a ride to show off to all our guests on board.  Dolphins are one of few mammal groups outside of humans which display willfully social behavior.  Aside from the social benefits the dolphin receives from being part of a school, it may also receive protection. While dolphins have few natural enemies, some sharks and larger dolphin species (like the Orca) will occasionally prey on them. This is especially true for calves.  As noted previously the young calves in Mandurah’s waterways have been mainly sighted in pods of 4+.  We are so lucky at Mandurah Cruises to get to share Mandurah’s dolphins with guests that join us for a cruise as our vessels allow all on board a fantastic view of these beautiful creatures in their natural environment.

 

27th May –  Our 1pm cruise sighted a pod of 4 dolphins near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  They were happily, casually swimming along towards the city centre.  As we cruised alongside them it appeared they had adopted a new friend… a seal jumped high out of the water a couple of times, racing alongside our boat and the pod of dolphins!  This is an extremely rare event and was such an amazing one at that!

Snapshot 28 (7-06-2013 3-46 PM)

Snapshot 27 (7-06-2013 3-46 PM)

Snapshot 26 (7-06-2013 3-46 PM)

28th May –  On our 11am cruise 5 dolphins were sighted at the entrance to the Mandurah ocean Marina.  As we approached them they swam over to our boat to greet our guests on board and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves to Stingray Point.  This playful pod were leaping high into the air and spiralling over each other, showing off to our guests on board.

Snapshot 31 (7-06-2013 3-55 PM)

30th May –  A larger pod of 8 dolphins were sighted on our 11am cruise along the shallows of the Eastern Foreshore.  They were quick to swim over to our boat on our approach and joined us for a ride on our boats waves to the Mandurah Ocean Marina and back to Stingray Point.  They were a very playful pod… leaping high into the air and nudging into each other as they fought for the prime position on our boat’s waves.  One of the dolphins in this pod was a young calf and it stayed close to its mother at all times, mimicking her as she leapt into the air.  Our hostess also reported that one of the male dolphins in this pod was the biggest dolphin she had ever seen!  Our 1pm cruise sighted 2 dolphins along the shallows of Fairbridge Road searching for some lunch.  They joined us for a short ride to the entrance of the Port Mandurah Canals before returning to their search for food.  On our 3pm cruise a lone male dolphin was sighted in the Port Mandurah Canals.  It wasn’t too interested in us as it was too busy searching for food, diving deep and staying under for lengthy periods of time.

Snapshot 29 (7-06-2013 3-48 PM)

Snapshot 30 (7-06-2013 3-49 PM)

31st May –  Our 11am cruise sighted 3 dolphins at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina searching for food.   They were too busy doing so to be interested in us and so we observed them from nearby.  No dolphins were sighted along our cruise route on our 1pm cruise.  On our 3pm cruise 8 dolphins were sighted near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  They were casually swimming along towards the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge and joined us for ride under our bow and on boats waves.  Our guests on board had a fantastic view as the dolphins showed off, spiralling over each other, leaping about and swimming along belly side up.  2 of the dolphins in this pod were young calves born this summer and they appeared to be doing very well.

Snapshot 23 (7-06-2013 3-35 PM)

Snapshot 22 (7-06-2013 3-34 PM)

1st June –  On our 1pm cruise 3 dolphins were sighted near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge chasing each other and just playing around.  They were quick to swim over to us on our approach and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves.  They put on a great show for our guests on board as they scored some very impressive airtime.  Our 3pm cruise sighted 7+ dolphins just outside of the ocean entrance launching themselves high into the air.  Our vessels are not surveyed to go into the ocean and so we observed them from the ocean entrance as they put on an amazing display!

Snapshot 21 (7-06-2013 3-33 PM)

Snapshot 20 (7-06-2013 3-32 PM)

2nd June –  2 dolphins were sighted on our 11am cruise searching for food in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were using the rock walls to assist them in doing so and appeared to be having some luck as a few fish were thrown onto the rocks.  These same 2 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise just outside the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  After observing them from nearby for a short while they swam over to our boat and joined us for a ride under our boat’s bow to near Stingray Point.  Our 1pm cruise sighted 4 dolphins searching for some lunch in the Venetian style canls in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were too busy to be interested in us and so we observed them from nearby.  On our 2pm cruise 2 dolphins were sighted in the Mandurah Ocean Marina searching for food amongst the Crays fishing boats.  4 dolphins were sighted on our 3pm cruise in front of Kings Carnival casually swimming along towards the Ocean.  We cruised alongside them for a good while as they did so.

Snapshot 10 (7-06-2013 3-02 PM)

3rd June –  This was WA (Western Australia) Day and was a beautiful sunny day so there was an increased amount of traffic on the water.  8 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge casually swimming along towards the city centre.  2 of the dolphins in this pod were amusing themselves with a piece of seaweed, throwing it around like a toy.  However, as we cruised alongside them they were quick to drop the seaweed and join us for a surf on our boat’s waves.  Our 2pm cruise sighted 2 dolphins in the Mandurah Ocean Marina searching for food.  They were diving deep and staying under for lengthy periods of time amongst the boats so we lost track of them.  On our 3pm cruise 3 dolphins were sighted just outside of Mandjar Bay casually swimming along towards the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  We cruised alongside them for a few minutes and they rolled over and swam along belly side up.  They were being their cheeky dolphin selves!  5 dolphins were sighted on our 4pm cruise between Stingray Point and the Mandurah Ocean Marina just casually swimming along.  They joined us for a ride under our boat’s bow and on our boat’s waves for a short while before being distracted by a school of fish and shooting off in the opposite direction.

Snapshot 24 (7-06-2013 3-39 PM)

4th June –  A lone male dolphin was sighted on our 11am cruise at the entrance to the Mandurah ocean Marina.  He was too busy searching for some food to be interested in us.  On our 1pm cruise 2 dolphins were sighted near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge casually swimming along towards the city centre and they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  These same 2 dolphins were sighted on our 3pm cruise now near the Mandurah Ocean Marina, heading toward the ocean.  We cruised alongside them as they went about their way and our guests on board had a fantastic view of these beautiful creatures in their element.

Snapshot 8 (7-06-2013 3-01 PM)

Snapshot 7 (7-06-2013 3-00 PM)

8th June –  Our 11am cruise sighted 4 dolphins near the Stingray Point site.  On our approach they were quick to swim over to our boat and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves to near the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  On our 12 noon cruise 2 dolphins were sighted at the southern entrance of the Port Mandurah Canals.  They were 2 big males and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves for a short while.  2 dolphins were sighted on our 2pm cruise in Mandjar Bay searching for food.  As we cruised alongside them they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves all the way to the ocean entrance.  They were showing off, leaping about and slamming down on their backs creating an almighty splash.

Snapshot 19 (7-06-2013 3-27 PM)

Snapshot 16 (7-06-2013 3-26 PM)

9th June –  On our 11am cruise 8 dolphins were sighted along the shallows of Fairbridge Road searching for food.  Our guests on board had a fantastic view as these dolphins thrashed around and worked together rounding up fish.  After a short while they swam over to our boat to greet our guests and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves towards the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  They were spiralling over each other and showing off to our guests on board.  2 of the dolphins in this pod were young calves (3-4 months old) and as usual their mother stayed between them and the boat as a protection measure.  They stayed in their mother’s slip stream and attempted to mimic her as they enjoyed their surf on our boat’s waves.  Our crew captured some fantastic footage of one of these young calves moving its tail as fast as it could to keep up with its mother.  It was extremely cute, an ultimate ‘aawww’ moment!  Our 3pm cruise sighted Nicki, Giggles and the gang searching for food in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were using the rock walls to assist them in catching their late lunch.  They weren’t too interested in us and so we observed them from nearby.  Our other vessel cruising this day failed to report their dolphin sightings.

Snapshot 18 (7-06-2013 3-27 PM)

Snapshot 33 (7-06-2013 4-25 PM)

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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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Perth Now posted the following interesting article:

 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/mandurah-is-dolphin-city-new-research-finds/story-fnhocxo3-1226661301261

 

The article titles Mandurah ‘Dolphin City’ as it discusses the large number of this beautiful creature that live in our waterways.

 

 

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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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