Swimming with the dolphins

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PensacolaKid
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Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:07 am

From A Buick 8,

No doubt your question has been sufficiently answered. However, to add my two cents, by kayaking in the Sound, one can often see or have dolphins very near you. Also, I suggest taking one of the two or even both really, dolphin cruises out of Destin. You can Google and it has all the information. One has a bar on board, one allows you to bring your own drinks on board. It is about 2 hours and takes you on a tour through Destin Harbor and the Sound, not to mention taking you through the channel and out in the Gulf to hug the coast (east and west). You are only a couple of hundred yards offshore at any given time. Get at the very front of the boat and you can have a wonderful experience. Two years ago we did it for the umpteenth time and had a spectacular show. At one point we had about 25 dolphins of all sizes including two really small babies, just playing and swimming all around us. A very relaxing and fun 2 hours. I believe we paid something like $25 for adults and $15 or so for kids.
beachgirl
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Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:05 pm

I do not believe they will take a big bite out of you but I have witnessed someone who was nipped at. Not hurt but a lesson learned.
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David
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Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:59 pm

The dolphins amaze me with their abilities. They exibit remarkable inteligence for a wild animal and have been trained to do extrodinary things. They even amaze me with their ability to, surgically, take a live bait off a fisherman's hook, yet totally avoid the hook, then stick their head up looking at the fishermen as if laughing at them . They take prize catches off in the same manner, then laugh as well. I sometimes think they may be attemting to train us, at least pick on us as we would a friend.

Just like the family pet might take a human by the hand and gently or maybe wth a little rough determination let them know there should be a treat in their near future, a dolphin may well attempt the same type of communication. They might show a little frustration, or extra enthusiasm if they don't get quick satisfaction of their desire and appear to be aggressive, therefore the strict rule of not purposely feeding them, just like the dog, they grow to depend on it.

Dolphins have also been know to warn of impending danger to what they consider their human buddies, same as a dog might do, even pushing or pulling them away from that danger. "Watch out matey, thars a shark here about". That effort might be mistaken as aggression when it was not intended that way, therefore a report of a nibble or bite when all they wanted was undivided attention to their warning.

I sometimes think my dog is much smarter than I. I'm sure dolphins are.
Wouldn't we all like to swim, play, and fish with our families all day even though we have the inteligence to do what some may consider greater things?
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beachgirl
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Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:04 pm

Many years ago I was at Shell Island in Panama City Beach. My brothers and I swam out to a sand bar. It was about 25 ft deep. We were skin diving for the large sand dollars. (Like scuba but no tanks.) Many boats were close and started to alert us to something in the water. It was not long before we were pleasantly surprised that it was dolphins. (By the way folks were hollering, we thought it may be sharks.) They never touched us but swam around us for a little bit. Seems they were trying to figure out what the heck we were doing swimming so far from shore.

(NOTE: Please do not try this unless you are a trained swimmer and have the proper equipment.)
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Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:20 am

beachgirl wrote:Many years ago I was at Shell Island in Panama City Beach. My brothers and I swam out to a sand bar. It was about 25 ft deep. We were skin diving for the large sand dollars. (Like scuba but no tanks.) Many boats were close and started to alert us to something in the water. It was not long before we were pleasantly surprised that it was dolphins. (By the way folks were hollering, we thought it may be sharks.) They never touched us but swam around us for a little bit. Seems they were trying to figure out what the heck we were doing swimming so far from shore.

(NOTE: Please do not try this unless you are a trained swimmer and have the proper equipment.)
Thanks again for all of the great idea's. Panama City has several options for swimming with dolphins, so i guess we will make a trip there one day while we are down. We are all so looking forward to this trip. I hope the temperature cooperates. Looking at the 15 day forecast looks like the temps may be in the high 60's, we were hoping for the middle 70's.
April 2009 was our first trip to Navarre. We would like to visit several times a year but alas we cannot. Can only afford every other year.
beachgirl
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Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:59 am

I do not suggest you go out in the deep water with out the tools and skills needed. We did not go there for a dolphin encounter. They chose to encounter us.
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Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:21 pm

beachgirl wrote:I do not suggest you go out in the deep water with out the tools and skills needed. We did not go there for a dolphin encounter. They chose to encounter us.
Yes i agree, looks like the Gulf world marine park in Panama city has a good safe option.
April 2009 was our first trip to Navarre. We would like to visit several times a year but alas we cannot. Can only afford every other year.
beachgirl
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Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:39 am

Dolphins were out at the beach yesterday. Must have been 15 of them. They were on the deep side of the sand bar. The water was churned up from the storms last week. Looked they were feeding in the muck. (Muck is defined as anything not crystal clear.) At one point, they started jumping. One came completely out of the water.... pretty cool. Maybe they were feeding and in heat???
blackbird
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Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:10 am

Spied a couple Saturday morning in the Sound on the southeast side of the causeway (Mom's beach vicinity) and then one Sunday afternoon on the southwest side (Boat ramp area).
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kcblond
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Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:26 am

Is a day trip to Panama City feasible?? Am I right about guessing about 1 1/2 hour drive?? I see a the Blue Dolphin has a private boat for $265 for up to 6 folks. That sounds tempting to us if its a nice easy drive.
Ginny
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David
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Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:29 pm

1 1/2 hours at the best of traffic times. Early morn, 5:30-9, and late afternoon, it could take you 1 1/2-2 to drive between Navarre and Destin, normally less than 45 minutes.

If I were you, I would try for something in Destin or P'cola Beach.
David
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Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:23 pm

Seems to me the closest "swim with dolphins" tours are in Panama City. Anyone know any closer? Might be an adventure, and it includes snorkling. Any time in the water is better than dry land. Right????
Ginny
THE HARDEST THING IS TO KNOW WHICH BRIDGE TO CROSS AND WHICH TO BURN
beachgirl
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Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:20 pm

If you are going to Panama City during peak season expect it to take 2 to 3 hours. Also depends on where in Panama City you are going. If you are going to the east side of town (Marina) then add another hour.
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need2fish
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Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:04 pm

If you want to get up close with the dolphins just go snapper fishing. They'll be there immediately to eat the small ones you release.

Seriously though - I've had them swimming all around me while fishing off the 2nd sand bar in the summer. They get pretty close - it's real cool. Don't worry they won't eat you - just don't try to touch them. They are very smart. They'll steal your live bait off the line and make you think they are actually hooked and then after they almost spool you they will just release your line (eating your live bait of course).
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Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:33 am

We ended up going to Gulf World in Panama City; we went up on a Thursday. It was a good time and the wife and kids enjoyed their time with the dolphins. They were in the tank with them for about 20 minutes, got a dorsal fin pull, a hand shake and a dance. Everyone was very nice there. It was well worth it for them.

It was a bit of a drive (about 1.5 hours); we spent most of the day at gulf world, went to the shows and then ate dinner on the way home at Fudpuckers in Destin.
April 2009 was our first trip to Navarre. We would like to visit several times a year but alas we cannot. Can only afford every other year.
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