Welcome to ScubaBoard, an online scuba diving forum community where you can join over 205,000 divers diving from around the world. If the topic is related to scuba diving, this is the place to find divers talking about it. To gain full access to ScubaBoard (and make this large box go away) you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
Participate in over 500 dive topic forums and browse from over 5,500,000 posts.
Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
Post your own photos or view from well over 100,000 user submitted images.
Gain access to our free classifieds marketplace to buy, sell and trade gear, travel and services.
Use the calendar to organize your events and enroll in other members' events.
Find a dive buddy or communicate directly with scuba equipment manufacturers.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the ScubaBoard Support Team.
The closest things are the liveaboards out of the West Palm Beach Area in Florida that go out to the dolphins grounds in the Bahamas. These are for the most part Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and sometimes you also get to swim with Bottlenose Dolphins.
This is all snorkeling and freediving - you'd be hard-pressed to find a wild dolphin scuba trip because it isn't very practical. The dolphins come and go as they please. Sometimes they stay for 1 minute, sometimes for 1/2 hour. You'd be constantly getting in and out of the water, and with scuba gear on, that is awful cumbersome and time-consuming.
Another issue is that it has been observed that dolphins don't really care for the bubbles, altho I've had a many encounters elsewhere where they didn't seem to mind.
Lastly, even tho you'll never be able to catch up to one if it is not in the mood to play, you'll have even less of a chance if you have scuba gear on.
When I was in Curacao, Ocean Encounters run a dolphin encounter. I was led to understand that this was in the open ocean, but I never did the dive personally.
I did however have an encounter with a pod of about 16 or so, while shore diving.
On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. 2,175 miles to Alaska, 2,390 miles to California; 3,850 miles to Japan; 4,900 miles to China; 5,280 miles to the Philippines.
I refuse to believe that corporations are people until Texas executes one.
"Too often ... people enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" - Leapfrog
"They are the McDonalds of diver certification. Quick, inexpensive and tasty. Pardon me for saying so, but I also believe it to be a health hazard." - DCBC
"It truly does boil down to motivation ... if you believe something is hard, or unnecessary to learn, you won't learn it ... even if it's completely within your capability" - Bob (Grateful Diver)
I may be wrong but all the Shear Water (Abernethy) trips I've seen have been snorkel only.
These dolphin swims can be part of any West End/Little Bahama Bank or Walker’s Cay trip.
Also during these trips, we’ll head out along the bank in deep water at night, looking for the dolphins feeding on flying fish and squid. Once found, we get in to snorkel with them around the boat. A very exciting nighttime activity!
We also run wild dolphin trips that are focused primarily on swimming with dolphins. This is a good trip for people who are not certified scuba divers.
Two places that are guaranteed - but not "wild" dolphins - are the above mentioned Ocean Encounters/Seaquarium dive on Curacao or the Roatan Marine Institute program at Anthony's Key Resort on Roatan. http://www.anthonyskey.com/en/dolphins/dives.html
Both dives are done just offshore and the dolphins are led out to your group for 1/2 hr. - 45min. of interaction in 40'-60' of water. I've done both.
Technically the dolphins are free to leave at either place but don't. On the AKR dive, our dolphins went off by themselves for the 1st 20 mins. or so - even the trainer didn't seem to know where they were.
Just to be clear, at the beginning of the Dolphin Dive you are taken to the RIMS facility on Baileys Cay where the dolphins are enclosed in a large pen. The dolphin (standing) encounters and snorkels take place there afaik. Whether there's an opening in the pen or they are "let out" just for the dive is something I'm not sure of but I would guess it's the latter. It is a big pen though.
The Curacao Seaquarium dive was similar - the dolphins are released from the pen and escorted by their trainer out to the divesite. Although I saw the trainer jumping the dolphins for some tourists on the breakwater before our dive.
To RIMS credit, the dolphins seemed interested in diving with the trainer without any need for tricks/reward. And on our dive, one of the dolphins decided not to leave the pen. Which left the other, younger two the freedom to roam at will for the 1st 20-25 mins. or so since he was supposed to be their guidance. Which although it cut down on our experience was something that I appreciated since no effort was made to corral them for us. Dive was pretty boring w/o them though, it's done on a flat wide sandy area so one poor crab that happened to be crossing in front of our group (4 photographers) must've thought his world was ending...lol.