Dolphins are the most mysterious mammals in the sea. We love watching them as they swim majestically in the waters. There are a lot of activities out there that give people a chance to watch dolphins, like circuses and aquariums, but since those places encourage captivity and cruelty, it is best to watch dolphins and other sea creatures in their natural habitat. Lucky for us, it is easy to go on boat rides to see dolphins and even swim with them.
If you are planning to take a dolphin cruise with your friends and family, it is very important to come prepared and know all the safety guidelines to have a fun cruise. In preparing for your next dolphin watching tour, here are 4 tips to remember to have a safe and responsible dolphin cruise.
1. Find the Best Operator to Handle Your Cruise
Before going on a dolphin cruise, it is important to prepare for everything. Do some research beforehand and look for the best operator to handle and guide you on board. The trip should be fun and exciting, as well as educational and informative. Having a professional guide will provide you with everything you need to know before, during, and after the dolphin watching tour.
What you will need from the operator is the overview of their company, what to expect during the cruise, safety guidelines, and their safety policy on dolphin watching. Having a responsible operator will ensure that your trip will be smooth, safe, and enjoyable.
Always remember that the boat should be at a safe distance from the animals at all times. Your boat should be at least 330ft away, and maintain a calm, predictable pattern to avoid startling the whales and dolphins. Avoid any sudden changes in speed, direction, and noise level. The boat should approach the dolphins at a slow-paced, steady movement from the front or rear. If there is a second boat, it should follow behind the first one while maintaining the same pace.
There are a lot of guidelines to follow, so a responsible and well-trained operator should remind everyone on board of these safety guidelines all throughout the trip.
2. Try to Keep it Natural
Watching any animal in their habitat is a lot different from watching them locked up in a cage. There are a lot of safety measures to remember, and you have to make sure that the animal controls the course of the encounter. Always remember that you are in their territory, so you have to maintain a quiet observation. Keep everything natural, avoid harassing or chasing after the dolphins. Remember that these animals are wild and have very sensitive skin, so keep your hands to yourself and avoid touching them whenever they pass by.
One more thing to remember is that you should be aware of all signs of distress. If you feel that the animals are showing signs of disturbance or frustration, ask everyone to turn around and leave the area immediately and slowly. It is very important to still maintain the slow-paced and steady movements while leaving the area of interaction because you don’t want to bring any more stress to the dolphins and whales.
3. Avoid Excessive Noise
Dolphins and other marine mammals are very sensitive to sound and light. Upon approaching their habitat, try to lower the noise pollution by not speaking to each other loudly. It is normal to be excited during dolphin boat rides but try to tone down the noise and keep a silent environment for the dolphins.
Upon entering the vicinity of the whales and dolphins, switch off all the sonar devices such as fish finders and depth sounders. These gadgets can cause disturbance to the whales so avoid them at all times. Also, keep in mind that if you want to take photos of the dolphins, do so with the flash off. Too much light and noise can startle them, and it can lead to a fast tour for everyone on the cruise.
4. Do Not Enter the Water
Before the dolphin cruise starts, you will be reminded by your operator not to swim with the sea creatures and to maintain a safe distance from them above the water. Dolphins and whales can be unpredictable, and it will be too risky to enter the water with them. Although there are some instances when people can swim alongside the dolphins, it is more advisable to stay out of the water to provide the animals the most natural experience without disturbing them.
Going on a dolphin cruise is fun and exciting, but there are still a lot of precautions and safety guidelines to keep in mind to make the trip safe and memorable for everyone. If you are looking to book the best operator to guide and handle the dolphin watching tour for you to enjoy, look no further! Sunshine Scenic Tours provides the best dolphin cruise in St. Pete and will surely bring you a safe and fun-filled activity!