Tourist boat sees rare 100-strong pod of dolphins off coast of Dorset
Tourists are treated to magnificent display after pod of 100 dolphins swims up to their boat off the Dorset coast
- Lucky tourists were treated to dazzling display in crystal clear water off Dorset
- Tourist boat saw huge pod of about 100 dolphins swimming in bright sunshine
- Display witnessed by professor Tom Brereton, who was leading a marine safari
For most people wanting a close-up encounter with dolphins swimming in a turquoise blue sea they have to travel to some far flung place like the Caribbean.
But one group of nature lovers only had to journey a few miles off the south coast to enjoy the same experience.
In bright sunshine and crystal clear water off Lyme Regis, Dorset, a huge pod of about 100 common dolphins put on a majestic display.
They swam up to the bow of the tourist boat and played for over 20 minutes while feeding on sprats.
And with the sea like a mill pond it was possible for the group to sea the mammals well below the surface.
Professor Tom Brereton was leading a Naturetrek marine wildlife safari when they encountered the large pod in Lyme Bay.
He said: ‘It was an exceptional day because the water was remarkably blue, crystal clear and smooth. It was also very warm, with a temperature of about 22C.
The 100-strong pod of dolphins were spotted by a boat load of tourists who caught the incredible scene on video
‘Such days have been hard to come by in recent years in British waters.
‘We could see normally elusive harbour porpoise’s swimming underwater at considerable distance, which none of us had ever seen before.
‘They are so hard to see because they are the smallest species of dolphin, about 4ft long, and normally you can just see their dorsal fin pop out the water.
‘The highlight in the middle of Lyme Bay on the French Banks was seeing a large school of around 100 common dolphins.
The dolphins swam up to the boat and played there for twenty minutes. The magnificent day made them incredibly clear in the bright blue water
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The majestic creatures are a European Protected Species and used to be referred to as the ‘puffing pig’ because of the sneeze-like puffing sound
‘The dolphins came to ride the bow of the boat and because the water was flat, like a mill pond and crystal clear we could see them swimming incredibly clearly under water.
‘They were feeding, probably on sprats and stayed around the boat for over 20 minutes until we left them.
Professor Tom Brereton was leading a Naturetrek marine wildlife safari when they encountered the large pod in Lyme Bay
The dolphins are just 4 ft long sea mammals were very easy to see as they played around the boat
‘It really felt we were in the Mediterranean Sea rather than south of Lyme Regis!’
Tom led a group of 10 clients on the charter boat, Spot On, from Brixham, Devon, for the marine safari.
The professor said that they came to ride the bow of the boat and because the water was flat, like a mill pond and crystal clear we could see them swimming incredibly clearly
The harbour porpoise are the only member of the porpoise family found in European waters.
They are a European Protected Species and used to be referred to as the ‘puffing pig’ because of the sneeze-like puffing sound they sometimes make when they breathe.