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Old 19-10-2015, 04:16   #46
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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It happened to me in 2004. We were sailing at night from Penmarc'h to Audierne (Ste Evette) and 2 dolphins annoyed us. I suppose there were 2 of them, because we couldn't see them.

One dolphin repeatedly struck the rudder (at least 5 times, maybe 10), so hard that we had to hold the tiller with both hands, else it jumped out of the hand, and the boat tacked! All the blows were from the same side. Obviously, the dolphin was playing at trying to make us tack.

The other dolphin blew to windward of us, but keeping its blowhole just under the surface, so that the spray reached us. It did that a few times, too.

Alain
Have you by chance read of Bernard Moitessier's encounter with porpoise rounding NZs South West Cape? Amazing account that really opened my eyes to the intelligence and level of communication they have with each other.

To make a long story short - he found himself surrounded by about 100 porpoise, seemingly agitated (rather than their usual playfulness), and groups of 25 would race abreast his starboard side and then shoot off to the right. They kept doing this until he realised that the wind had changed, altering his autopilot heading so that he was now heading towards the reef. He changed his course to starboard, and when he did so they started celebrating - jumping and playing around. He described them as saying "The human understood! The human understood!!". The leader was doing double front-flips hahaha.

Now the story doesn't end there... They stayed with him for an hour, playing around (whereas they would usually only stick around for 15 minutes). And when they finally left him to his course, he found that two had stayed with him, following along at the stern, one on port side and the other on starboard, seemingly bored... They escourted him for five hours past the reef. He was tempted to steer back towards the reef to see the reaction of his friends, but he thought that would be disrespectful. Finally when he went below and checked the chart, finding himself beyond the reef, he came back up and they were gone.
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:18   #47
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

Sounds like interesting behaviour... A quick google shows that the behaviour is not uncommon for Lake Mac

Performance Boating 10th annual Jeanneau Rendezvous: | Performance Boating Sales
We even had some cheeky dolphins join the two Sun Fast 37’s that were never far apart all day and reported that the dolphins actually bumped their rudders continually just for the fun of it!

A theory about why they do it Hunting theory: How Lake Mac dolphins knock up some dinner | Lakes Mail
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:19   #48
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

Hello Zaria,
congrats on the boat purchase. If you are considering going offshore could I make a suggestion. It may well be worth while of having a good selection of scotch on board. If the dolphins are an issue in the lake the whales are going to be an absolute PIA without their scotch. Please don't ask me how I know this as as I am still on good speaking terms with the previous owner


Greg and Sue
Sunshine
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Old 19-10-2015, 04:27   #49
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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This makes the most sense

FISHING: Dolphins appear to be bumping the rudders of moored boats in Lake Macquarie to chase fish out into the open.

THERE is evidence the dolphins of Lake Macquarie have developed a hunting strategy that is unique to the local population.

The Lakes Mail has fielded reports of the dolphins bumping the rudders of moored vessels.

Ineke Garaty, of Coal Point, said the dolphins do this to disturb fish sheltering under the hull.

Once the fish have been spooked, the dolphins swoop.

In at least one instance, the dolphins got a little too enthusiastic in their pursuit of a meal. Diana Newman, of Balcolyn, said dolphins damaged the rudder on her boat.
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Old 19-10-2015, 05:07   #50
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

Ok all very funny HA HA.
As the previous owner of Melanie and now Zaria.
Listen you guys, I sold you that boat too cheap.
I expect a makeup cheque to come close to the Hobart model.
Otherwise the attack of the killer drunken dolphin will continue.
They and only they, know which red hunter valley wine can subdue their talented boat smashing skills.
So if you think you are going to take her off shore, think again. Your single malt scotch bill will be expensive if you want a straight forward sail without a whale of leaks on your wallet.
God knows Captain Phil knows I brought a leaking lemon so if you think a few silly soft drunken red drinking air breathing fish will stop you wait till we get you off shore and the taste of RUM up your _ - _ - _.
Come on guys , these mammals are just curious and know a goooooood boat when they hit one. Elans rule ask Phil.
Derek
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Old 19-10-2015, 12:04   #51
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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We mainly just stay in the lake. We do plan in venturing out to do more coastal cruising now we have upgraded. The Swansea bridge is only high enough for small speed boats. To get a large cruiser or Yacht out hey have to open the bridge. Normally on the hour every hour but needs to be booked.
Perhaps you should send an email to the previous owner requesting more red wine? Is your anti fouling red by any chance? Seriously, you could try changing the colour.

Although I imagine it's the unique sound of your boat that they recognise. I once visited a NZ Navy listening station on the east side of Great Barrier Island. They have installed hydrophones out in the ocean and record and analize all the sounds of passing shipping. They can identify individual vessels by their unique signature. I'm sure all navies are doing similar.

There was an incident in NZ a couple of years or so ago when a dolphin leapt out of the water and accidentally landed on a passenger in a small boat either killing or badly injuring them.

(Thanks for the lake info. I've thought of renting a houseboat, that are or were available on the lake. It seems to be an interesting place to explore. Once with boat owning friends we did that on the Hawkesbury going as far up river as we could having a great time)
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Old 19-10-2015, 16:40   #52
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

Not wishing to spoil the long standing good relations between dolphins and yotties, Ann and I have long followed a policy of sharing good red wind with the cetaceans.
However, we carefully filter it through our kidneys first... must work, for they never bump our rudder even when we are sailing in lake Mac.

Jim
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Old 19-10-2015, 16:42   #53
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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Not wishing to spoil the long standing good relations between dolphins and yotties, Ann and I have long followed a policy of sharing good red wind with the cetaceans.
However, we carefully filter it through our kidneys first... must work, for they never bump our rudder even when we are sailing in lake Mac.

Jim
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Old 19-10-2015, 17:38   #54
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

Lol Jim..... If this is a salt water estuary......why is it called a Lake when it really a Lagoon?
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Old 19-10-2015, 17:58   #55
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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Lol Jim..... If this is a salt water estuary......why is it called a Lake when it really a Lagoon?
This to me is the bigger mystery than the dolphin behavior.

Later,
Dan
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Old 19-10-2015, 19:07   #56
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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Lol Jim..... If this is a salt water estuary......why is it called a Lake when it really a Lagoon?
It's due to our wishful thinking since most lakes in Australia are just dried up salt pans.
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Old 20-10-2015, 00:42   #57
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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Lol Jim..... If this is a salt water estuary......why is it called a Lake when it really a Lagoon?
It is a lake because it is a drowned river valley/s with a long shallow channel to the ocean. Probably.
Also the dolphins just love fibreglass spade rudders for a bit of a rub (as on a Jeanneau 37 I have sailed on) but have yet to cuddle up to my steel skeg hung rudder.
However they often escort us for several minutes up and down the lake whether sailing, motor sailing and just motoring.
Michael
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Old 21-10-2015, 14:38   #58
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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Old 21-10-2015, 14:50   #59
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

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We recently purchased an Elan Impression 384 on Lake Macquarie, Australia, and the old owner mentioned to watch out for the dolphins in the lake attacking the boat. We obviously thought he was joking. But sailing today we encountered 2 large dolphins smashing into the Rudder. I was very concerned that they might cause damage, so I rang the old owner who advised to turn on the motor, which did cause them to stop.

But due to dolphins being attracted by sonar, we think the depth sounder, or chart plotter/satellite is what attracted them? Has this happened to anyone else and if so did they stop once the instruments were turned off?
They are way too smart to be tricked by your sonar. Sounds like they dislike your boat.

Numerous navies have trained and conducted experiments on dolphins and their abilities.

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Old 21-10-2015, 15:15   #60
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Re: Dolphins smashing into rudder

The dolphins have a message "So long and thanks for all the fish"


Isn't it obvious?
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