It has been an exciting summer out on the water with our resident bottlenose dolphins. In January we welcomed four dolphin calves into the population.
While January- March are the most common months for new calves, there was quite a buzz around the Port when four were born so close together. It is hoped that this is an indication of what the rest of the season has in store (we are still confident that we will see another calf or two before the end of the season!).
The new dolphins were identified as part of Imagine Cruises crew member, Lisa Skelton’s dolphin census. Over the past 18 months, Lisa has been recording sightings of dolphins within the eastern end of the Port, using markings in their dorsal fins (large fin located on the back on the animal) to differentiate between individuals. Lisa has complied a catalogue of all of the eastern dolphin population, allowing us to play a more active roll in monitoring the population’s health. Over the summer we have enjoyed getting to know our newest residents and watching them learn from their mums about life in Port Stephens. Splitfin’s calf, Rocket (pictured above) was one of the four calves born in January and is already keeping mum very busy. Friendly and inquisitive, Rocket has been seen tail slapping and giving directions to mum and is often the one leading it’s pod toward Imagine for a little time riding on the bow. This cheeky little character has quickly become a favourite among Imagine’s crew and guests alike.
We’ve had our share of strong south-east’ers this summer. These winds might not make for the most comfortable boating conditions for us, but they kick up a nice surf through the Bay that our dolphins love! Just last week, Nicky’s pod- our largest female pod showed us how to cut a wave.