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Cruising With A Huge Pod Of 30+ Dolphins!

The 2nd half of June and 1st week of July saw temperatures average 18 degrees and 11 of the 28 days record rain.  Although we are in the winter months and experiencing cooler weather with rain this doesn’t deter the dolphins.  They live in water and so the rain doesn’t bother them at all.  Our waterways are also calm, protected and warmer than the ocean so it makes an ideal place of residence for the dolphins.  They don’t migrate like whales and so we still see the dolphins in large numbers at this time of the year.  On the 16th of June a huge pod of 30+ dolphins were sighted making their way in from the Peel Inlet towards the ocean.  Much to the excitement of our guests on board our 2pm and 3pm cruises they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow.  They were showing off, launching high into the air, slamming down on their backs – making an almighty splash, gliding along belly side up, spiralling over each other and just playing around as dolphins do.  Our guests didn’t know where to look though as there were so many!  It was like a catch up for Mandurah’s resident dolphins and our boat was their playground!  Nicki, Giggles and the gang were sighted a number of times over the 4 week period.  As usual they were quick to swim over to our boats to greet our guests on board and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow.  The majority of dolphins sighted over this 4 week period were playful pods that were quick to join us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow.  On most occasions they were leaping about, getting impressive airtime, spiralling over each other, gliding along belly side up and putting on a spectacular show for all of our guests on board.  A number of young calves born over the summer and autumn months were sighted over this 4 week period and all appeared to be doing well, staying close to their mother’s side and mimicking her.  They are somewhat like human toddlers… full of energy, very curious and cheeky.  They have tended to be in pods of 4+ which is a great protection measure.  There was also a bit of mating activity by the dolphins sighted on a few occasions which is great news for Mandurah’s future dolphin population.  Fairbridge Bank and between Mandurah’s 2 bridges were popular dolphin sighting locations.  Fairbridge bank is a very shallow are and so the dolphins were sighted chasing fish there on a number of occasions.     

10th June –  A lone male dolphin was sighted on our 11am cruise at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  He was casually swimming along looking for an early lunch and we observed him from nearby as he did so.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

13th June –  On our 11am cruise a lone male dolphin was sighted along the shallows of Fairbridge Bank.  He was chasing fish, gathering himself an early lunch.  We observed him from nearby as he thrashed around and raced across the surface of the water, chasing the fish.  Our 1pm cruise sighted a number of dolphin pods, 24 dolphins in total, along our cruise route.  A large pod of 12 dolphins were sighted near Mariners Cove sleeping.  We cruised alongside them towards the peel inlet as they did so.  This pod consisted of 2 young calves who were the most active members in the pod.  They stayed close to mum’s side as she had a snooze.  4 female dolphins were sighted on our return near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  They swam over to our boat on our approach and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves towards the old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  As this playful pod leapt high out of the water and showed off to our guests on board, another pod of 3 dolphins raced across the water’s surface to join in in all the fun.  They stayed with us to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we could not proceed any further due to our vessel’s height.  As we made our way out of the Port Mandurah Canals, on our return to Mandjar Bay, we sighted another 3 dolphins rounding up fish in Mandjar Bay.  We observed them from nearby for a short while as they thrashed about creating large sand clouds in the water whilst on their chase.  On our way back into Mandjar Bay a mother and her very young calf around 2 months of age were casually swimming along in the shallows.  This very young calf still had predominant foetal stripes which are present on very young calves from being folded up in their mother’s womb.  This young one appeared to be very healthy and happy as its mother brought it over to our boat say hello to our guests on board.  4 dolphins were sighted on our 3pm cruise near the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  It is believed they were the same 4 females from the 1pm cruise.  Again they were in a very playful mood, leaping about on our boats waves and gliding along belly side up under the bow.                     

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

14th June –  Our 3pm cruise sighted 6 dolphins near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge heading towards the city centre.  As we cruised alongside them they joined us for a ride under our boat’s bow and on our boat’s waves.  Much to our guest’s excitement, they stayed with us to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we could not proceed any further.       

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

16th June –  On our 2pm cruise a huge pod of 30+ dolphins were sighted making their way in from the Peel Inlet towards the city centre.  It was an amazing experience for all on board to see such a large pod of dolphins heading towards the boat.  We turned around just inside the Peel Inlet entrance to cruise along with them.  Much to the excitement of our guests on board they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow.  They were showing off, leaping high into the air, gliding along belly side up and spiralling over each other.  Our guests didn’t know where to look though as there were so many!  It was like a catch up for Mandurah’s resident dolphins and our boat was their playground!  There were at least 4 young calves born during the summer in this huge pod of dolphins and 1 that would be only a month or 2 old.  These young ones all appeared to be doing well, happily swimming alongside their mothers, mimicking her and showing off to all on board like the rest of the gang.  This playful pod loved all the attention, staying with us to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we couldn’t proceed any further and had to return to Mandjar Bay.  Our 3pm cruise also sighted this huge pod of dolphins now in the Mandurah Estuary Channel in front of Kings Carnival.  Again, much to the excitement of our guests on board, they joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow as they made their way towards the Ocean.  Another pod of 6 dolphins were sighted on this cruise near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  They too were in a playful mood and were heading towards the city centre.  They were all fighting for the prime spot under our boat’s bow, spiralling over each other and nudging each other out of the way.  Our crew on board reported that popular resident dolphins including Nicki, Giggles and Bendy Wendy were a part of this pod.  They stayed with us to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we could not proceed any further and had to return to Mandjar Bay.  Our 4pm cruise sighted these same 6 dolphins in the Mandurah Estuary Channel in front of Kings Carnival.  They were casually swimming along towards the ocean and on our approach joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow to the Mandurah Ocean Marina entrance. 

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

17th June –  4 dolphins were sighted on our 11am cruise near Stingray Point.  They swam over to our boat to greet our guests on board as we approached them before joining us for a short ride through the estuary channel on the waves produced by our boat.  A large male dolphin, 2 females and a young calf were also sighted during this cruise at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina searching for food.  They weren’t too interested in us and so we observed them from nearby as they went about their way.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

19th June –  4 dolphins were sighted on our way to Mandjar Bay to commence cruising for the day.  They were searching for food along the shallows of Fairbridge Bank. 

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

20th June –  On our 11am cruise, Nicki, Giggles and the gang were sighted at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina searching for some food.  They weren’t very interested in us and so we observed them from nearby as they went about their way.  This same pod was later sighted on our 1pm cruise near the entrance to ‘The Islands’ – Mariners Cove canal entrance, heading towards the Peel Inlet.  On our approach they swam over to our boat to say hello to our guests on board and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves to the start of the Peel Inlet.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

22nd June –  A pod of 6 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise near Stingray Point.  They were casually swimming along and on our approach they were quick to swim over to our boat for a ride on our boat’s waves to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They were in a very playful mood, leaping high into the air and slamming down on their backs, making an almighty splash.  This same pod of dolphins was sighted on our 1pm cruise at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean Marina searching for some lunch.  Again they still had plenty of playful energy about them and joined us for a ride on our boat’s waves to Stingray Point.  Much to our guest’s excitement, they were again leaping high out of the water and spiralling over each other.  Our hostess on board said, “The pod put on a beautiful performance and all on board had a fantastic view of these amazing creatures.”  On our 2pm cruise 2 dolphins were sighted searching for some food at the entrance to the Mandurah Ocean marina.  We observed them from nearby as used the rock wall to assist them in rounding up fish.  Our 3pm cruise sighted 5 dolphins along the shallows of Fairbridge Bank.  They were rounding up fish and so we observed them from nearby as they did so.  The 6 dolphins from earlier in the day were also sighted back near ‘The Islands’ – Mariners Cove canal entrance and on our approach were again quick to join us for a ride on our boat’s waves, this time to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  They were having a great time leaping about and showing off to all of our guests on board.  Our 4pm cruise was also joined by this playful pod of dolphins and again they were leaping about and putting on a spectacular show for all of our guests on board.   

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

23rd June –  On our 1pm cruise 4 dolphins were sighted in the Mandurah Estuary channel, in front of Kings Carnival.  2 members of this pod were large males and they joined us for a short ride under our boat’s bow before returning to their female friends to take part in mating activities.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

25th June –  Our 11am cruise sighted 6 dolphins in stage 6 of the Port Mandurah Canals, they were casually swimming along and joined us for a ride under our boat’s bow to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  This same pods was also sighted on our 1pm cruise around the same area, at the southern entrance to the Port Mandurah Canals.  They were rounding up fish on the rock walls and we observed them from nearby as they did so.  After a short while they swam over to our boat to greet our guests on board and join us for a bit of a ride under our boat’s bow towards the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge.  3 dolphins were sighted on our 3 pm cruise along the shallows of Fairbridge Bank searching for food.  On our approach they joined us for a ride on our boat’s wave to the ocean entrance.   

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

26th June –  On our 12 noon cruise 6 dolphins were sighted along the shallows of Fairbridge Bank.  It was too shallow of waters for us to get too close to them and so we observed them from nearby.  They were a very playful pod… chasing and rounding up fish, mating, jumping out of the water and just playing around as dolphins do.  Our 2pm cruise sighted 4 dolphins at the entrance to the Waterside Canals searching for some lunch.  They were working as a team rounding up fish.  This cruise also sighted the same pod of dolphins from our 2pm cruise still along Fairbridge Bank.  Again they were in a playful mood… rounding up fish, throwing them about (showing off their catch) and mating.  They joined us for a short ride in the Mandurah Estuary channel towards the old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

28th June –  A pod of 6 dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise near Stingray Point, casually swimming along towards the ocean.  As we cruised alongside them they joined us for a free ride on our boat’s waves to the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  They leapt about and spiralled over each other and put on a great show for all of our very excited guests on board.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

30th June –  Our 3pm cruise sighted Nicki, Giggles and the gang near the Mandurah War memorial casually swimming along towards the Peel Inlet.  They joined us for a short ride on our boat’s waves and under our boat’s bow  to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we could not proceed any further. 

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

2nd July –  On our 11am cruise 4 dolphins were sighted at the Southern entrance to the Port Mandurah Canals.  They were searching for food and using the rock walls to assist them in rounding up fish.  As we cruised past them they were quick to swim over to our boat and join us for a ride on our boat’s waves to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge.  They were being their cheeky selves riding along belly side up and spiralling over each other.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

6th July –  A lone male dolphin was sighted on our 12 noon cruise searching for food in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.  It was diving deep and staying under for lengthy periods of time amongst the boat pens.

Dolphin Mandurah Cruises

 

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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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Nature World News posted the following interesting article:

 http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/2927/20130712/dolphins-detect-pregnancy-using-echolation.htm

The article discusses new research findings that dolphins can detect pregnancy in women using echolocation.  “Dolphins emit sound waves and listen to the echo to make sense of their environment. Experts say that it possible that a dolphin may be able to detect the difference in the echo of woman before and during pregnancy.  Previously it was speculated that the dolphins might know when a woman is pregnant as female dolphins are known to take particular interest in pregnant women, often seen swimming close to them.”

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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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