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Old 06-08-2012, 11:35   #1
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Night Beauty

My wife and I were on the harbor sailing about 1 AM last weekend and we lost the wind. We were kind of drifting along on the light current and were surrounded by dolphins. Some we could see in the moonlight, and some we just heard as they came up to breathe. As time went by (I really didn't want to ruin it by starting the engine) we became aware of a more subtle sound. I noticed it first as it seemed to come from the transom, and as we started listening closer for it we realized that it was dolphin sonar. It was all around us and it sounded like cats purring in bursts of about 1 second each. It was really noticeable when you went below. The sound really carried through the hull. We spent nearly an hour listening as the dolphins in every direction were using their sonar and coming to the surface.

I have never heard that before. I'm not sure if they use their sonar as much during the day or if it is something you only experience at night, but it was sure wonderful.

We have been going out at night as much as possible ever since we experienced bioluminescent trails when we sailed the pacific northwest. There are more hazards at night, but there are also wonderful experiences you just never have in daylight. Here closer to the equator our night experiences are different than they were up north, but we still enjoy the night.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:05   #2
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Re: Night Beauty

G'day (or G'night?) and welcome njwtech....but if you keep posting wonderful things like that, you might have an exhausted dripping wet man with a magnificent beard climbing over your rail on said beautiful night and refusing to ever leave......me!

(Er, would you mind giving me a rough longitude, to save me swimming the whole equator to find you.....)
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:18   #3
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Re: Night Beauty

Oh Yeah. NJWT, We need more posts like that.! I have sailed for 40 years all over the globe and those calm/quiet/nights with some creatures right there with you is what it is all about. Company in mid ocean, or great trails of phosforescence, a sky so clear and sharp that it is difficult to separate the common constellations from the bright crowd. ahh MAN !
Oh yeah, as you say, you can hear them through the hull, often long before you're aware from on deck. Also, on some anchorages I have heard crabs and mussels clicking away while lying in my bunk. We CAN become a part of our earth mother again. We must try to maintain that tenuous connection that technology and modernity is eroding.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:21   #4
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Re: Night Beauty

Nice post. Thank you. When the sun goes down it really is magical during pleasant weather.
kind regards,
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:37   #5
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Last week we were at John Pennekamp park on Key Largo. While moving the boat from the pump out back to the mooring field we saw a dolphin following us. After settling the boat we all jumped in and swam with him for over an hour. He kept looping around and checking us out, never more than a minute or two away.

I got some cool video of it too (thanks life proof).


Those are some of the moments that make life complete.

Tom
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Old 06-08-2012, 19:39   #6
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Re: Night Beauty

Great first post! Welcome aboard. Love the water and its wonders at night.
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