The dolphins were very active during the fourth week of January. They were sighted every day along our cruise route and joined us on many occasions for a ride. On Australia Day there were hundreds of people on the water and this didn’t deter the dolphins, they too were out there all day celebrating our great nation. Nicki and her calf, in particular, were in the Mandurah Estuary Channel all day. On one occasion this week some dolphins in a large pod were sighted sleeping. Yes dolphins do sleep. They are an air breathing mammal and so must come to the surface of the water to breathe through the blowhole on top of their head. As they are a conscious air breathing mammal they can’t just fall asleep in the water, otherwise they risk drowning. So what they do is, they lay on top of the water with their blow hole exposed and rest one half of their brain whilst the other half stays alert and reminds them to keep breathing and swimming.
21st January – The dolphins were in early this day, first sighted on our 10am cruise feeding in front of King Carnival. They joined us on our cruise for a while leaping about on the waves produced by our boat. Nicki and giggles were sighted in the afternoon feeding in the Mandurah Ocean Marina.
22nd January – A pod of 4 dolphins were first sighted on our 11am cruise on the way to the Mandurah Ocean Marina, they came over to greet our guests and swim alongside us for a while. A larger pod of 8 were later sighted along the Eastern Foreshore playing, mating, fishing and casually just making their way towards the Peel Inlet. Nicki and giggles were a part of this pod. A couple of the dolphins in this pod were also sighted sleeping.
23rd January – The dolphins were out and about all day! A pod of 4 were sighted on our 10am cruise near the war memorial and followed us through the Port Mandurah Canals. Another 2 joined us along the way, riding on the bow of our boat. Our 11am cruise saw another pod of 4 dolphins near the Mandurah Ocean Marina, they were happy looking for a feed. On our 12 noon cruise this same pod of dolphins was sighted feeding along Fairbridge Road. 2 pods of dolphins were sighted on our 1pm cruise in the Mandurah Estuary Channel. The pod that was sighted on our 12 noon cruise was still cruising around feeding and another pod of 6 were making their way in from the Ocean. The dolphins were everywhere on our 3pm cruise! 4 groups consisting of 4 to 6 dolphins were sighted along our cruise route between Mandjar Bay and the Peel Inlet. They were fishing, playing, mating and some joined us for a ride on the waves produced by our boat.
24th January – The dolphins were very active again all day! First sighted on our 10am cruise, a pod of 4 were feeding along Fairbridge Road. They were too happy feeding to want to join us for a ride. Our 11am cruise saw a mum and her calf cruising along near the Mandurah Ocean Marina. Another 3 dolphins were sighted in the same location on our 12 noon cruise. On our 1pm cruise Harry Houdini was sighted near the war memorial. Our 2pm cruise saw 2 dolphins join us near the war memorial for a short ride through the Port Mandurah Canals. On our 3pm cruise a pod of 4 dolphins were sighted in the wetland area making their way towards the ocean.
Please click on the following link to view some great footage of the Dolphins riding the bow of our boat. It was captured by one of our guests – Amanda Crookes.
25th January – The dolphins were a bit quite this day as the tide was out (which means the food is out). A pod of 9 were sighted on our 12 pm cruise heading towards the Ocean. They were sighted feeding along Fairbridge Road and some joined us for a quick ride on the waves produced by our boat.
26th January – The dolphins were out and about for Australia Day! 2 dolphins were sighted on our 11am cruise in the wetland area feeding and joined us for a short run towards the Peel Inlet. On our 1pm cruise Nicki and her calf were sighted feeding in the same area and also joined us for a ride on the waves produced by our boat. Our 2pm cruise saw a pod of 6 dolphins including Nicki and her calf near the New Mandurah Estuary Bridge. They were happy feeding and just cruising along. On our 3pm cruise Nicki, her calf and giggles were in Mandjar Bay and joined us for a ride as we departed. Our 4pm cruise saw the other 3 dolphins catch up with Nicki, her calf and giggles along the Mandurah Foreshore.
27th January – On our 11am cruise 10+ dolphins were sighted near Stingray Point, they were happy feeding. On our 2pm cruise Beaky and friends were sighted feeding along the Mandurah Foreshore before chasing our boat for a while. Beaky is identified by its beak… The upper part of its beak is lob sided and so you can see its teeth!
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!
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.
Check out this interesting article on the Los Angeles Times Website:
It is a story of an amazing rescue attempt by a pod of dolphins on one of its severely ill members.
“A group of Korean researchers observed a pod of dolphins conducting a rescue attempt on a dying adult member. A female member of the pod was not doing so well. It had red marks on its belly, and its flippers appeared to be paralyzed. To prevent it from drowning, the group of dolphins took turns to support it from below, nudging it and correcting its balance. But after 30 minutes of this, they had to resort to more desperate measures: They formed a kind of raft by joining their bodies together. The biologists observed that five dolphins worked at a time, lining up horizontally so that the ailing dolphin could ride on their backs. The dolphins also used their beaks to keep the dying dolphin’s head up.” – io9
Scientists however still dismiss the possibility that dolphins are truly empathetic and act out of a sense of compassion. They lean more towards believing that it is the “simple act of working together could bond the group more strongly, or that the effort could help maintain the group, and thus better control their territory.” It is quite the debate. Especially after occasions such as this attempted rescue and the fact that they are “one of only a few species, like humans, who possess mirror neurons — a cognitive attribute that endows animals with the ability to form a mental conception of another mind, a biological prerequisite for compassion.” Scientific research shows that dolphins have a brain that’s remarkably human-like in its capacities. A lot more research needs to be done to prove that dolphins have the capacity for empathy but what do you think?
There is also a video of this amazing rescue attempt: