Dolphin Tales: Dolphins also have to protect themselves from the sun’s ultraviolet rays
Did you know dolphins are susceptible to sunburn? Injured or elderly dolphins who take a rest in the shallows could be trapped by an outgoing tide and find themselves vulnerable to South-west Florida’s scorching sun.
Dolphins don’t have scales or feathers — or sunscreen — and rely on continual movement in the water to protect them from damaging ultraviolet rays.
Fortunately, such instances are rare, largely because dolphins are so intelligent and they avoid stranding. Their brain to body mass is second only to humans. They use echolocation and communicate with an amazing variety of whistles, clicks and pops. They can learn complicated routines and have a remarkable range of mental powers. Dolphins learn quickly and have excellent memories.
I guess that’s how they’re so familiar with me. On the water I intently wait and watch for these gregarious mammals. If they are feeding or mating, I keep my distance. We want to protect the species, after all. When I’m confident their bellies are full and mating isn’t a concern, I beckon the dolphins using my own time-tested set of calls. And then the fun begins.
They cruise into the wake of my 25-foot catamaran Wings To Fly and thrill onlookers with their spins, leaps and darting maneuvers.
Capt. Cathy Eagle has spent over 40 years boating the waters around Pine Island Sound. She has been a professional charter captain nearly 15 years specializing in dolphin and nature tours. Visit CaptainCathy.com or call 239 994-2572.