Charting interactions between dolphins and people
Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Thursday, 24th January

A beautiful day, hinting at the fact that spring is officially only a week away. The 1st of February is the start of the quarter of the year known as spring but in the ten years I have been in Ireland I can not fathom why this is so. January and February can be the bleakest months of the year, the heart of the darkness of winter. Spring can only be considered around April / May time but we shall let the record keepers and date makers have their moment and say that we are only a week away.
But today was a spring-like day and we went down to the beach full of enthusiasm. The walk from the car park to the beach is spent in excited talk about the swim ahead but usually interrupted by a shout that the dolphin can be seen. But not today. The bay was empty, devoid of a spray or telltale blast. We ignored this and kept on going, spurred on by the warmth of the sun and calmness of the water.
OJ was asked her predictions on the type of swim we would have. After delving into her spiritual and mental depths she said it was going to be mellow. She was right. Both OJ and I entered the water in the hope that Fungie would come charging over once realising we were swimming. Nick stayed on the pier, in his wetsuit and board at ready, using the age-old ploy of letting others do the hard work, and then jumping in when the dolphin is seen.
We waited for about half an hour but no sign, until Nick saw the dolphin near the green buoy on the way into the harbour. We had given up hope, only to jump back in when Fungie appeared again off the point. Surprisingly he did not come over and we got out again cold and dejected.
This has not happened often over the last three months, but when it does it serves to remind how lucky we have been when he does interact. Hopefully this is not the dreaded ‘winter decline’ that has been mentioned a couple of time before in this diary.

Keith Buchanan

Water time: 30mins
Fungie time: 0 mins
Swimmers: Keith and OJ
Non-swimmers who could not be bothered to get in the water: Nick
Date Posted: 24/01/2002
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