Marie Ahern from Dublin sent us this photo of her memorable first swim with Dusty at Derreen on 21st July. She writes:
"Luckily I got the opportunity to spend about an hour on my own in the water with her and she was really playful and relaxed. This is a photo of her on her back waiting for a rub!
The only thing that freaked me were the dinner-plate sized jellyfish!
"At one stage when I was on my body board she started pushing the board with her nose as if to give me a bit of a spin on it. I didn't try to get her to pull me along, although with the way she was positioned near me a lot of the time, it was almost as if she was waiting for me to hold on. I didn't want to push things too far with her as it was my first time in the water with her."
It has been really noticeable this year in particular how respectful most swimmers have been with the dolphin and how she has responded to this. There really is no need to chase after her or grab hold of her, she will come to everyone in turn and let you stroke her sooner or later.
There have been a lot of stinging jellyfish in at Derreen the last few weeks and if you don’t have a wetsuit on, it’s a good idea to at least wear a mask or goggles so you can see to avoid them. However if you do brush against them with an unprotected part of your body, it’s only like a nettle sting so don’t panic. If someone gets a lot of stings or a bad reaction, they can be neutralised with a weak acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. Peeing on them helps in the same way and may be quicker in the circumstances!