by Shayne Benowitz
The Atlantic bottlenose dolphins inhabited Key West’s tropical waters long before Fury Water Adventures, but we’ve only recently begun to offer a trip dedicated to viewing these playful porpoises in the wild. The next time you’re in town, hop on board our 32′ power Dolphin Cat for Fury’s brand new Dolphin Watch & Snorkel Adventure. It’s a completely different experience from the classic Fury snorkel trip aboard our 65′ sailing catamarans.
Captain David is often at the helm aboard the intimate Dolphin Cat and he has years of experience in finding the perfect place to view these graceful beauties in their natural habitat known as the Dolphin Playground. Approximately four miles northwest of Key West, there’s a five and a half square mile area where it’s common to spot dolphins playing, nesting, and feeding. It’s a safe place because the area is covered by a sandy bottom and a consistent depth of about 10 feet. This means no surprise attacks from sharks and other predators. The sandy bottom is also home to pin-fish and ballyhoo, which dolphins will sense with their echolocation radar and then swallow whole.
These mammals are social creatures and swim together in pods, so chances are once you spot one, you’re going to spot a whole lot more! Once you’ve thoroughly explored the Dolphin Playground, then it’s time for you to make a splash. Depending on water conditions and how long you played with the dolphins, Dave will chart a course out to the barrier reef or to a great spot in the backcountry sponge gardens. You’ll get to cool off in the crystal clear water and do your best imitation of Flipper!
It’s truly a unique experience. I know every time I spot a dolphin–no matter what Fury boat I’m on–I get a little rush of excitement and jump to my feet. They are such majestic creatures and it’s an experience you just have to have for yourself!
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