Swim With Dolphins In The Virgin Islands
As owners of Pirate’s Paradise Adventures, funny enough, we rarely get to spend time on the boats because they’re usually busy with guests, but on Saturday, January 21st (2012), we grabbed our captain and his wife and spent the day enjoying the Virgin Islands aboard Red Beard.
The seas were pretty choppy, so there weren’t too many boats on the water. Most boats don’t handle the chop as well as Red Beard–she’s incredibly steady in waves–so we headed toward the BVI’s around 10:30am with cloudy skies above and rain threatening. After clearing customs at Soper’s Hole, we decided to head over to the Caves and Indians to do some snorkeling and take some photos for the website. As we neared the Indians, we could see the water was a little too choppy for snorkeling, and we were more than a little bummed. Just then, the most amazing thing happened. The Captain saw a dolphin surface. And then another. As we all looked in that direction, we began to realize that what we thought were small waves were actually dolphin–what looked like hundreds of them. We headed the boat in that direction, and that’s when the fun began.
Dolphins like to swim right under the bow of the boat for some reason, when its moving. They zig zag back and forth, peel away and then come back in, “dive bombing” the boat! You can see a smile on their faces as they play in the boat’s wake. We would speed up, then slow to turn around. They didn’t like it when we’d slow down. They’d stop swimming and come up to the surface to stare at us, like ‘c’mon–let’s play!” We’d start moving again, and they’d fall right in line, swimming in front of and along side the bow of the boat. They absolutely loved it. In all, we spent about a half-hour playing with the dolphin. Because we were alone on the water, and there were so many of them, we didn’t get in and swim with them–okay, the water had a little chill to it, so that factored in as well–but we could hear them “talking” as they played. It was a fantastic experience, and it reminded us how awesome–and memorable–time on Red Beard really is.
We all had cameras rolling, but Brian had a waterproof GoPro camera, so he leaned over the front side of the boat to get as close as he could to the dolphin. We could almost touch them, they were so incredibly friendly. The video below is just one minute of about 25 minutes of footage:
In total, we probably had about a dozen different dolphin come play with us, including one baby and the parents.
We’ve also seen dolphin around Waterlemon Cay off St. John, but there were only a couple that day.
We were worried when they were running under the boat that we would accidentally run them over or cut them with the prop, but the captain explained that dolphin are really fast and instinctually know how to get out of harm’s way. Next time, Brian pledges to get in the water with them and see if he can video that for you.
Book a trip with us through the Virgin Islands and maybe you’ll be luck enough to see dolphin, too! It’s really an incredibly experience.