October 13, 2005. Dolphin watching, Moorea, French Polynesia.
Magical morning off the north shore of beautiful Moorea, often within two or three meters of lovely, hyperactive Spinner Dolphins who seemed as interested in us as we were in them.
This tour is provided by Dr. Michael Poole, an authority on Spinner Dolphins and the author of the legislation which created French Polynesia's whale and dolphin sanctuary throughout the country's Exclusive Economic Zone. The tour was scrupulously respectful of the animals. As they were sighted, the boat either stopped completely in the water, or moved in a straight line (only) at very low speed. When the dolphins came close to the boat, it was their choice to do so. They were never fed or enticed in any way. Yet, acknowledging the risk of anthropomorphizing, they seemed genuinely delighted to see us.
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