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Jumbo blog

A Dolphins Water Ballet

Jumbo’s crew sails the oceans for weeks at a time, often in the most remote areas of the world. No sightings of fellow humans beings or even land, except for some lone fellow merchant vessel crossing our path. The oceans are so vast that some might think it’s a bit boring to cross. We sailors however, love it!

The feeling of being absolutely independent while traveling the endless oceans gives us much pleasure. Together we enjoy the good weather and together we face the bad! It’s like a game we play with Mother Nature, giving and taking. The oceans are not ours however. Even though it might seem so, the waters belong to the animals living in it. Sea life is always much appreciated by the crew. Most of the time it’s there and with a good eye you can spot it. Turtles and whales are very common sightings at sea along with seabirds soaring on our updrafts.

The most spectacular animals are dolphins
Dolphins are easy to spot when they jump high out of the water towards the vessel. They can find ships by scanning the horizon or by listening underwater. Dolphins have great fun surfing our bow waves and making high acrobatic jumps in front of the bow. They do it for no other reason than fun. It’s fantastic to watch them out do themselves and it’s even possible to communicate with them by whistling or clapping. They get excited if the crew whistles at them and jump even higher than before. During their jumps they often turn their bodies, looking straight at you. Dolphins are very aware of humans and do not fear them at all. That’s why watching dolphins is much appreciated by the crew. It never gets boring!

Filming or photographing dolphins in action is something else. The audience on the bow is standing directly above them, twelve meters higher, which makes it difficult to take the photos to show at home or to share online. However with some out of the box problem solving I managed to get myself a really nice and growing collection of outstanding dolphin footage. The dolphins seem to understand camera’s too because they show off making jumps passing close to the camera. Protective mothers do not allow the little ones to be close to the camera however. Mama is always between my camera and the baby. So I did not catch a young one up close yet.

In the pictures you can see a common type of dolphin; Delphinus Delphis. They grow up to 2.6 meters in length weighing between 90 and 150 kilo’s. This dolphin can be found everywhere in all waters, coastal or deep sea. It’s distinctively marked by a yellow patch over the forward part of its body. The striped dolphin can also be found in the pictures marked by nice white striping on its grey tinted body which is quite common in the Mediterranean and a beautiful dolphin to watch.   

Watching the dolphins, whales and all other sea creatures really underlines the fact that we humans do not own the oceans. We use them to transport and travel and have to treat the oceans with great care as a good guest. The oceans are a magnificent large piece of nature and thanks to abundant sea life we sailors are never alone!

Captain Fairlift
Dennis Terpstra

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