The 5th week of January was a beautiful summer’s week with temperatures in the low 30s. The dolphins were sighted every day along our cruise route and joined us on many occasions for a ride. A few new additions to Mandurah’s dolphin population were sighted this week! That’s right, new babies (calves)! They were sighted on a few of our cruises by their mother’s side, riding on the waves produced by our boats. Females generally have a calf every 2 to 3 years, the gestation period is 12 months and the calves stay by their mother’s side and suckle their mother’s milk for up to 18 months. Those dolphins who do have new babies tend to reside in waterways like Mandurah’s estuary, Peel Inlet, canals and rivers as they are shallow, warmer, calm, protected waters compared to the ocean.
28th January – The dolphins were out and about all day! A pod of 6 were sighted on our 12 noon cruise and included a new baby (calf). Luckily our guests and hostess had their cameras ready to capture some footage of this new addition to Mandurah’s waterways. On our 1pm cruise a pod consisting of 5 dolphins was sighted heading out to sea, they were too busy feeding to want to join us for a ride. Our 3pm cruise sighted 3 dolphins rounding up fish along the Mandurah Foreshore and another 7 dolphins along the cruise route.
29th January – 2 dolphins were sighted on our 12 noon cruise feeding along the Mandurah Foreshore. Our 1pm cruise saw a pod of 5 dolphins heading out to the ocean. They joined us on our cruise for a ride on the bow before continuing on their way. On our 2pm cruise 2 females and their calves were sighted in the Mandurah Estuary channel looking for a feed. They joined us for a ride on the waves produced by our boat and then continued their search for food.
30th January – The dolphins were along the Mandurah Foreshore all day. First sighted on our 11am cruise, just out of Mandjar Bay, the joined us for a surf on the waves produced by our boat. Our 12 noon cruise saw a pod of 6+ dolphins near the Mandurah Ocean Marina, they were happy feeding and followed our boat for a while. On our 1pm cruise the 2 dolphins sighted earlier on our 11am cruise were still within the Mandurah foreshore area in Mandjar Bay, they were looking a feed. A large pod of dolphins were sighted on our 5pm cruise in the same area (Mandjar Bay), they were happy feeding and lolled around our boat for a while.
31st January – 2 dolphins were searching for a feed in Mandjar Bay as our boats arrived to commence cruising for the day. They then later joined us on one of our morning cruises for a ride on the waves produced by our boat. They were leaping around and in a very playful mood. Bendy Wendy a apart of this pod. She gets her name as she has a noticeable birth defect of spinal deformity. DEC senior marine operations officer John Edwards said, “The dolphin’s mother provided protection from boats until it was old enough to fend for itself and since then, it has managed to adapt to its deformity and survive.” One of our afternoon cruises saw Nicki and giggles feeding in Mandjar Bay.
1st February – The dolphins were quiet along our cruise route. A solo dolphin was sighted in the canals on one of our morning cruises using the walls to assist in rounding up fish for a feed. 3 dolphins were also sighted on one of our afternoon cruises rounding up fish along Fairbridge Road.
2nd February – The dolphins were out and about all day. The Murray River Lunch Cruise sighted heaps of dolphins along the way. Our 10am cruise sighted a mum and calf in the canals searching for a feed. On our 2pm cruise 2 other dolphins were sighted at the entrance to the canals. They joined us for a ride on the waves produced by our bout from the canal entrance to the Old Mandurah Traffic Bridge where we could not proceed any further as our boat is too big to fit under. Our 3pm cruise sighted 3 dolphins in the wetland area, they too were in a very playful mood, leaping about together.
3rd February – The dolphins were sighted on most of our cruises. A pod of 6 dolphins were sighted on one of our morning cruises making their way in from the Ocean. They were too busy searching for a feed to want to join us for a ride. Our 1pm cruise sighted around 4 dolphins passing through the Port Mandurah Canals. Again they were too busy feeding to be interested in us. On our 3pm cruise 3 dolphins were sighted rounding up fish along Fairbridge Road. Our 4pm cruise too saw this same pod, who after getting some food in their bellies joined us for a bit of a ride. A female and her calf were also sighted along the Mandurah Estuary Foreshore on our return searching for a feed. On our 5pm cruise another 3 dolphins were sighted at Stingray Point. 2 of these dolphins were rather young. They joined us for a short ride to our jetties in Mandjar Bay before continuing along the Mandurah Foreshore searching for a feed.
A lone seal pup was stuck in a strong current near rocky shores and a group of dolphins nearby helped it by nudging it in the right direction. Dolphins have a history of doing good deeds for other marine animals outside their species and again this adds to the debate that dolphins may truly be empathetic and act out of a sense of compassion.
A fantastic video was captured of the event by Canadian nature channel Oasis HD and is definitely worth watching: