Charting interactions between dolphins and people
Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Friday 14th December 2001

Suzanne caught in the action Boisterous adj (1)noisy and lively ; unruly. (2) (of the wind, sea, etc) turbulent or stormy.

A photograph of Fungie at full tilt should accompany the dictionary entry to encapsulate its meaning. With the maritime references he has every connotation covered, a more apt embodiment you could not find. Then there’s his changes in pace and tone, combined with astute precision and agility, we’re talking about a form of self-expression unparalleled. It’s both performance and communication, a joy to behold. And what a privilege; interacting on a complex level with such an intelligent animal in its own environment. It is so rewarding, I love it. That moment at the apex of a jump when he seems frozen, suspended in the air, looking down at you, before plummeting by literally skimming your wetsuit with a deftness of touch. The slow rear ups when you see the white of his belly, the tip of his beak, rising out of the deep. Sideling up for a little nudge, making contact, eye to eye. A really good swim is like a symphony, made up of different movements. There might be a rapturous intro with a cacophony of action before a slower more intimate section, a brief interval and then a flurry to finish.
We are blessed having Fungie here, Dingles sentinel out at the harbours mouth. It is an affirmation of a clean and bountiful sea, something the townspeople are proud of. There are numerous vantage points around Dingle with a view over the harbour and you can’t help but glance seawards for a sign of him. You might see a few boats out and think Fungie is busy today entertaining the crowds. Or you might be lucky and see the tell tale splash of him jumping out there on his own. It brings a smile, gets into your psyche. We are all carrying a vision of him inside us, the spirit of Fungie interwoven with the thread of life itself. And like all of natures gifts it enrichens our existence, makes us better people with a greater awareness. Long may he live, long may we share and learn.

Nick Massett

Just for the record, Fungie was in flying form again today very tactile with lots of jumps around everyone.

Swimmers - Nick, Jen and Suzanne
Water time - 45 mins
Fungie time - 25 mins
Date Posted: 14/12/2001
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