Look Who Came to Play Today~


Swimming free in the sea,

the way they are meant to be.


There were many hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins in this pod, fishing cooperatively, and playing.


It is such a thrill to be amidst a massive pod of these intelligent creatures.

The ocean color differentiation you see below, is a result of the dolphins getting curious, and swimming closer to the boat to check us out.

The dolphins were joined by sea lions,


who were fishing too,

and just as curious about the humans in the boat!

Cheers to you from California’s splendidly free marine mammals~

230 thoughts on “Look Who Came to Play Today~

  1. Lovely photos bringing back memories of my time living at the coast and enjoying the privilege of watching the daily show of dolphins travelling up in the morning and returning in the afternoon. With the annual humpback migration down to the Cape there was so much to see, share and feel. Nostalgia nips! 😊

      1. I’m grateful to you too! I just love watching sea lions and listening to the sounds they make. That was possibly my favorite part of visiting San Francisco and Santa Cruz. I miss California!

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  3. They’re extraordinary creatures. It’s heartbreaking seeing them in captivity when they belong in the vast ocean instead. We went whale watching last summer off the coast of Victoria. I hope to go again soon. Lovely shots.

    1. That whole area off that coast of Vancouver Island is paradise for whales and the matrilineal orca pods are truly amazing to follow and observe. I would love to go back too, soon! 🐬

  4. Beautiful photos, Cindy.
    How lucky you are to have the opportunity to get so close to these intelligent mammals. I’d be thrilled just watching them, let alone photographing them up close.

    1. Yes, these amazing creatures deserve WOWS and they get from me every time I am lucky enough to see them. Hugs to you and so good to hear from you! Hope you are doing well~ <3

  5. Isn’t it wonderful that person and creature can appreciate each other and be together in harmony? Even if it’s only for a short while, and doesn’t happen as much as it should. πŸ™‚

  6. Oh you lucky human and beautifully captured. All I can offer in return is from Douglas Adams, roughly:-
    We think we are more intelligent than dolphins because all they do all day is swim, have fun and eat fish. They know they are more intelligent than us for exactly the same reason.
    πŸ˜€

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    1. They are fast, so you have to move fast with them, and then they want to play, in the wakes, racing and surfing with the boat, which is how all these pics were taken. I have swum with them on several occasions in the past off the island of Lanai where they were snoozing and mating and resting which was a very different experience then having them race your boat in open ocean. All experiences with these creatures in the wild are pure magic. Seeing them in pens in resorts or parks breaks my heart.

  9. You are so lucky to have seen this. I saw my first ever wild dolphins (boat trip to the Farne Islands, UK) earlier this summer and was so delighted. There is something just so uplifting about them πŸ™‚

    1. Everytime I see them in the wild it is a serious thrill. Captivity is just the opposite. I swam outside a sea-pen at a “swim with dolphins,” resort in Tahiti. The dolphins were like shells of themselves, totally different then the joyous, playful creatures in the wild.

    1. Storms like Irma wreck such havoc. We were in the Caribbean right after a hurricane and there were dozens of conch shells tossed onto the beach. I took some home, but we couldn’t fit them all in the suitcases. I always worry about animals in extreme events too. I wonder what happened to the birds…..

    1. Thank you Lyn. It is so incredibly different to see these amazing creatures free, covering huge amount of territory, so quickly and skillfully and playing all the time, compared to seeing them depressed in tanks, performing tricks for food.

    1. Yes they do have <3 and personality, all the sea mammals do. In places like Antarctica many critters haven't learned to be afraid of humans and they will come right up to you, curious. Humpbacks spy hoop and look at you with a plate sized eye, penguins pick at your coat, skuas land close to your camera, too close for a shot. They haven't haven't had enough contact with humans to learn how afraid they need to be. A Japanese whaler was there while we were and we saw it for several days, loading up the gunpowder and the harpoons, hunting minke whales that were visiting our ship. I expect by the time the Antarctic animals learn, it will be too late.

  10. You lucky girl! They’re all so beautiful. The sealion especially has very friend eyes. The nose is shaped like a heart I think. I really love that you’ve emphasized the free’ness of these sweet and communal mammals. I never go to Water parks and don’t like when these poor creatures are made to perform for us dumb humans either. I can’t imagine their depression of being removed from their families and put in a tank with finite space. It’s horrendous. Thank you for bringing their playful nature to your Blog. I’m certain hundreds read here and maybe will sense that it’s not ok to hold them captive for any reason and not patronize parks that do. xo B

    1. It is so not okay. I really get bugged when hotels have them in pools which I have seen in Oahu and Tahiti. I snorkeled during off hours, around a dolphin pen in Tahiti that offered swim with dolphins experiences for the tourists. The dolphins were listless, depressed and non-reactive, so entirely different then there are in the wild. They swim with the tourists for food and it makes me sad.

  11. WOW! By far the best pics of dolphins I’ve come across today. Amazing photography Cindy. Dolphins are such beautiful creatures with such kind and happy looks. I saw them in Watamu in my country, Kenya where I did a sea excursion and snorkeling. Check it out. Thanks.

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