Cruising Atlantic City for Wild Bottlenose Dolphins

20140809-235259.jpg The small vessel rocked from side to side.

"Sorry folks. One more big wave and there should be smooth sailing." The captain announced as I wondered whether or not my lunch would remain respectfully tucked away inside my stomach.


A series of storms in the Atlantic Ocean made for unusually mischievous water. The water wasn't the only thing feeling mischievous. We'd been out to sail for over an hour without a single dolphin sighting.


The water sparkled in the sun, the Atlantic City boardwalk glistened in the distance. Seagulls and dragonflies circled our small wobbly vessel, it was a lovely afternoon (minus the incessant rocking), but there were no dolphins.

"To your left, you'll see an oily surface on the water, the dolphins are close!"

"To the front of the boat, you'll notice a school of fish, the dolphins are close!"

"Behind us, you'll notice bubbles coming to the surface of the water, the dolphins are really close!"

Our captain called out all of these promises, yet there were no dolphins!

Then they arrived.

Keeping a safe distance, a small pod of young dolphins approached. Their dorsal fins cut through the water, encircling our boat with ease. Every few moments, they surfaced in a slippery synchronous arc, before disappearing beneath the waves to hunt for food.


It all happened so quickly.

One moment they were there, the next, they had sailed on. The entire time, the small pod kept their distance.

Pictures were hard to come by, but the experience, though ephemeral, was humbling. After all, how often do you get to sail alongside these graceful guardians of the sea...