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Dolphins Swimming in Waves; Why Do Spinner Dolphins Spin & Bow Ride in Lahaina, HI?
Dolphins are a popular site in the clear tropical waters and shallow bays around the Hawaiian Islands. One of the most beautiful of all the dolphins found in Hawaiian waters is the spinner dolphin. The spinner dolphin is easy to recognize with its unusual dark grey colored backs, lighter grey stripes on their sides and pink under belly. Other distinguishing features include their triangular shaped dorsal fin and long narrow snout. The locals often refer to the dolphin population as “porpoise” while preferring to use the word dolphin to describe mahi mahi or dolphin fish. According to the knowledgeable experts at Gemini Sailing Tours, there is a pod of dolphins along the West Maui coastline directly off Ka’anapali Beach which are a popular attraction during their afternoon and evening sailing adventures.
Why Do Spinner Dolphins Spin?
Just as the name implies, the spinner dolphin is known for its high spinning leaps and playful antics. In the waters around Maui, spinner dolphins can be seen daily. Spinner dolphins are renowned for their high jumps which involve leaping into the air and spinning many times before diving gracefully back into the ocean. Theories as to why spinner dolphins spin range from communication to ridding themselves of parasites. Spinner dolphins are also known to be very vocal both above and below the surface of the water vocalizing with a series of whistling noises.
How Do Spinner Dolphins Get Their Food?
Hawaiian spinner dolphins will hunt in groups often targeting species including squid and lantern fish which are particular favorites. Spinner dolphins are known to swim to depths of over 1,000 feet in search of food to feed the pod. Feeding takes place at night, when the dolphins move into deeper offshore waters. Predators including sharks are a threat to the dolphins so to counteract this threat; dolphins will hunt together in groups to increase safety.
Why Do Spinner Dolphins Bow Ride?
One of the most commonly asked questions regarding dolphin behavior is, “why do dolphins swim alongside the bow of a boat?” At Gemini Sailing Tours, we always give dolphins a wide berth so that we do not disturb them when they are sleeping. Yet it is not uncommon for the dolphins to approach our catamaran and swim alongside. According to dolphin behavioral specialists, the reason for this behavior is that the catamaran creates a wave just below the surface of the water which allows the dolphins to essentially hitch a ride in the wake of the wave which forms off the bow.
Maui Tradewind Sunset Sails & More in Honolua Bay, Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach, Turtle Town in Olowalu, Molokai, Lanai, & West Maui, Hawaii
Spinner dolphins are not only very social they are also affectionate creatures that will often use their pectoral flippers to stroke one another to establish a close bond. Bonded dolphins will often swim in in synchronized motions, turning, twisting and moving in perfect harmony. To learn more about Maui tradewind sunset and other Kaanapali Beach sailing tours, contact the knowledgeable experts at Gemini Sailing Tours today.