SNORKELING WITH DOLPHINS IS NO MORE!!!
That´s right, we will no longer organize this activity in the future (with a small exception, stated in the end). It took some time to come to terms with this decision, but as most of you know, I have been struggling with this for some time now, a few years even.
The main reason in the base of this decision is clearly related to Animal Welfare, but there is also a personal aspect to this.
All these years of experiencing the close encounters with Dolphins have taught and showed us that not always (not by a long shot!) the animals are willing to “cooperate”, changing their behavior drastically as soon as you drop “swimmers” near or in front of them. In any case, if you have a critical mind, you should at least reflect on the harm it can bring to these groups of tight knit animals.
On the personal side, I have been feeling some discomfort regarding this activity, as many of you and most of my coleagues know. I believe I have always been careful and tried my best to minimize impact, but that does not prevent the stress and nervousness to settle among the pods.
You can criticize this decision, fair enough. One of the most heard arguments to keep it going, is that less people would go to marine parks seeking interactions with captive Dolphins. For me, it is not enough.
If any of you has any comments, go ahead, I would like to hear from you, even if it´s in disagreement or critical.
In any case, we have committed already to some Private Trips for 2020, which I will respect and comply with. However, the participants are people that have known me for some years now, there is absolutely no pressure to “go in the water at any cost”.
To do this experience is necessary to know how to swim and have some snorkeling experience.
The minimum age is 10 years, obligatorily accompanied by an adult.
- Children 0-5 years: FREE (before check availability)
- Children from 6 to 12 years old (inclusive): 50% discount
- Cancelation Policy: up to a week before the activity: full money back / up to 48hrs before: mandatory payment of 50% of the booking / up to 24hrs before: mandatory payment of the full ammount
The trip may be limited by the weather conditions and the presence of the animals within our área of operation. In case of impossibility for the trip to take place, all ammounts paid will be returned or a voucher will be issued to reschedule the trip.
This trip is very much alike the Whale and Dolphin Watching trip, and it begins with a briefing. We use this time to describe the species and explain thei behavior, so participants know what to expect, and where we provide advice and indications on how best behave during the activity.
We take questions, handle the equipment and after we get the “green light” from the lookouts, off we go!
Dolphin Snorkeling Rules
- To get closer than 50 metres from any cetacean.
- To remain in a 500 metres radius around na animal or group of animals que are motionless, resting or in labor.
- To provoque the separation of the group of animals, mainly the calves.
- To approach whale calves when alone on the surfasse, as well as, to approach whales with small calves, less than 100 metres.
- The presence of more than 3 boats, in a 300 metres radius in the presence of dolphins, and 500 metres in the presence of whales.
- To remain in the observation area beyond 30 minutes.
- To approach the animals with a sail boat not using an engine.
- The use of sonar, including the area outsider the observation zone.
- The use of underwater motorized vehicles, in the área close to the animals.
- To chase the animals.
- To feed the animals.
- To swim with the whales.
- Pollute the Ocean with solid or liquid residues.
The rules of Whale and Dolphin Watching apply to this activity and a few more are added:
- the activity is limited to engage with 5 species: Common, Atlantic Spotted, Striped, Bottlenose and Risso´s;
- maximum number of participants: 8;
- participants need to be able swimmers and already have some previous experience with mask and snorkel;
- there is no minimum age to participate, but we recommend participants be over 10 years of age;
- minors should always be accompanied by a parente or legal guardian;
- the law stipulates a maximum of 2 swimmers in the water at one time, for no longer than 15 minutes;
- it is not allowed to touch the animals;
- it is very importante to manage expectations, since we not only are granted the imagined feelings;
- it is recommended to take more than one trip;
- the skipper is the only one in charge; his/hers is the responsability to authorize people to go in the water;
- this is an activity almost exclusively dependent on natural conditions, being the weather or the animals, and it is the skipper´s job to have the last word; this means, it may be necessary to cancel, reschedule, postpone the activity.
Remember, the dolphins did not read the laws!