Since buying our little Dory boat in July, and spending time pottering around Looe Bay, south east Cornwall, I’ve managed to conduct eleven surveys with my boat pal, Adrian Perry. This is not bad going for three months.
Our last trip out happened to be the day after the funeral of our Queen. It was the perfect boating; flat calm sea, warm, sunny and most importantly, not a breath of wind! Therefore, I decided to take my best companion with me, Jack, my thirteen year old fox terrier cross. He’s not that keen on boats, spending most of the time hiding underneath the seat until his return to harbour. This trip, to begin with, was no exception! Until…five miles out I noticed the sunlight bouncing off some fins way off. So, off we went to investigate, only to discover three large common dolphins! This was our first close encounter with dolphins in the boat and one I won’t ever forget. Jack suddenly popped out from underneath the seat, scurried to the front and began whining uncontrollably! As the dolphins came closer to us, his whining got louder and more desperate until he couldn’t control it anymore. Quickly, I fitted him into his life jacket just in time before he launched himself off the side and into the water! I have never seen him so desperate to do anything before. There was absolutely no stopping him. He motored along as fast as his legs could propel him forward to get as close to the dolphins as possible. At that moment, he dolphins had found fish, and became distracted. This took them some distance away from the boat, but little Jack just powered on until he was almost out of sight. Some twenty minutes later I decided he must be exhausted and motored along to try to get him back. It was incredible to watch, and all the way home he stood on the bow scanning the surface for his new Finned Friends. That night, in bed he dreamt of dolphins, as all four legs were ‘air-swimming’. Now, all he wants to do is get back on the boat, something I never thought would happen. Watch Jack (f you look very carefully you might see the dolphins in far background).
Our Director, Peter, has told me that Jack would have been attracted to the clicks and whistles that the dolphins emit, as dogs are able to hear these high frequency sounds, many of which are above the hearing of us humans. This can cause a lot of excitement in dogs, and Jack was clearly no exception! Tomorrow is another boat trip. Jack already knows as he watched me closely packing my dry bags. He is currently sat by my front door waiting to go!