One of my favourite dolphins encounters I remember was with a large pod of dolphins in 2017 in Monterey Bay with a friend from work. We were on a 12 hour trip to hopefully see Blue Whales but I enjoy spending as much time as I can out on the water. About five hours into the trip, we left some Humpbacks, and the Captain mentioned that she saw some dolphins in the distance and as we got closer to the area we saw that they were Pacific White-sided Dolphins. We started seeing them all around the boat, they were proposing, some all the way out of the water, flips and tricks, great air time, really cool to see.
We stopped and noticed that some were converging in an area, probably feeding on a school of fish, there were birds present (including a Black Footed Albatross!). As we watched them 100s more converging on the area, 5 min later we had a superpod all around us, easily 100s if not 1000s. All around, porpoising, breaching, intermixed with them were Northern Right Whale Dolphins, such a unique species, no dorsal fin, jet black dorsal side with a white belly. Hard to take pics of the Right Whale Dolphins-they were less active as the White-sided Dolphins but as we were leaving, the Right Whale Dolphins were bow riding so we had some great looks at them. It was amazing to see 1000s of these animals, it felt like something you would see in a documentary so for this to be my first encounter with two species of dolphins I had never seen before in the wild it was absolutely incredible and stunning. It was such a fantastic trip out of Monterey which is a great area, and this encounter made me want to go back again and again. It was truly amazing to see that many dolphins at one time.
This post was adapted from a voice recording in the twelfth episode of the Whale Tales Podcast, listen here