Bottlenose Dolphins back in Force
By Lloyd Edwards

Wednesday, 16th December 2020
After an unprecedented sighting of four pods of killer whales in two weeks, the bottlenose dolphins seemed to vanish into thin water! Obviously for a very good reason, as we have observed them being preyed upon by these fearsome predators.
 
We set off to St Croix on both My China and Winkle on Wednesday morning. Our first double boat cruise to the islands since Lockdown started in March. The only other cruises this month have been the two mercy runs to drop off juvenile seals in the Agulhas current and at Bird Island. It was a beautiful day and we spotted a few penguin, Cape gannet, Cape cormorant and terns bait balls along the way. We drew a blank at the dollie hotspot at “Lover’s Lane” and I felt my heart sink. Had the sea pandas really had such an effect on the “Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World”?
 
Disappointed, we cruised past the Southern side of the island and into Lloyd’s Bay. All of a sudden out of the distance came the wonderful sight of the first blows of a school of around 400 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. I kept quiet until the first guests noticed them. Shrieks went out and everyone scrambled to get the best vantage point. Our friends were back!
 
There were plenty of new-born calves about, keeping close to their mothers and sporting fetal folds, which they keep for a few weeks after birth. These are caused by being curled up in their mother’s womb.
 
My son Kalahari was with Jake and Warren on Winkle as he was having the last cruise for a while with his mates. He is off to Dubai at the end of the month to take over the reins as player/coach at a rugby academy for the Dubai 7’s. A sad but proud moment for me.
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