Huge pod of “rare” dolphins up to 14 feet long leaves passengers “in awe”


A ship captain and his wildlife loving passengers were ‘in awe’ when a group of 60 individuals of a rare type of dolphin walked past their boat off the Cornish coast.

Captain Keith, who runs AK Wildlife Cruises in Falmouth, was showing nature lovers around his usual corner, between Dodman Point and Lizard Point, when he spotted something strange on the horizon.

On the way back to the boat’s home port, something jumped out of the water, before falling, leaving a huge splash, a good distance away.

Read: Cornish property developer ‘moved’ by housing crisis says he can solve it with tiny houses on wheels

About seven miles off the Falmouth coast, Keith knew what it was.

Steering the boat to see better – while keeping his distance – the captain headed for what he knew to be a large pod of dolphins.

What he didn’t realize, however, was that the pod he saw was both much larger and much rarer than he expected.

As the boat drew closer to the group, Keith, who had been leading his boat rides for 22 years, saw something he had only seen about five times before: a huge pod of bottlenose dolphins offshore sides.

“It was lovely, I’m so privileged to see it,” said Keith, “We all know the coastal bottlenose dolphins, the ones we see around Mounts Bay and so on – they run along the coast.



Parts of the basket have reached the boat

“They may be big, but these were bottlenose dolphins. What’s so exciting is how tall they are – some of them are up to 14 feet long. “

These huge dolphins, Keith said, are cousins ​​of the well-documented common dolphins and the same species as small coastal dolphins, like Nick’s, which conquered everyone when he swam in Hayle Harbor. .

You can read more about Nick here.

The main difference is their size, both of the group and of individual dolphins.

“These guys must have jumped a good 12 feet out of the water,” Keith continued.

“They don’t come close, they face this more extreme environment in the deeper ocean, bigger waves, that sort of thing. They are big, really big. I haven’t seen them since around 2018. ”

Keith and his passengers, the captain said, were “in awe” of the gondola that jumped in front of the boat, some of them cautiously approaching the boat to examine it.



Parts of the basket have reached the boat
Parts of the basket have reached the boat

In amazing video footage taken by a passenger, the large number of dolphins can be seen.

Keith continued, “Whenever I see them, they come from the east.

“It’s amazing, it allows us to show Cornwall and its wildlife, and allows us to exalt its beauty and joy.

“We had smaller kids with us, and they were so excited. They were shouting “hello dolphins!”

“The dolphins are very aware of our presence. Most of them stay away, but about half a dozen breaks have come to watch us.

“We don’t put any pressure on the animals to come to us, but when they come to greet us like that, we were just amazed”

In addition to dolphins, the seven-hour trip last Saturday (September 25) saw passengers spot minke whales, tunas and other fantastic Cornish animals.

Keith said his company is looking to release a new boat – a catamaran – in January and invest in drones and underwater cameras to allow its passengers to get the best view of the wildlife, and keep working. with marine wildlife experts from the University of Exeter. .

He also said he was excited for the coming months when larger whales like humpback whales are expected to return to Cornish waters.

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