Facebook

24 June 2016

Flashback Friday | Is It Dolphin Snot Or Dolphin Spit?



Today is the Flashback Friday blog hop over at A Life Examined. The idea is to republish an old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you're really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc. We started this blog almost three years ago and have many more followers now then we did back then. I figure that there are probably a number of our earlier blog posts that some of you haven't seen before which might be of interest.

Like this one about our time cruising in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand on our 26' sailboat. We had a fabulous dolphin encounter on one of our sails, but it did raise a serious point of discussion about what it is that dolphins spray. Is it dolphin snot or dolphin spit?  

This blog post is a good example of the ones I used to do chronicling what we got up to when we were out cruising - kind of a day by day recap. If you're not a sailor or boating type, you still might find it interesting to get some insight into what it's like living on a boat out there on the water. 

{This post originally appeared in April 2014 - you can find the original post and comments here.}

****

Is the spray you see on the camera lens dolphin snot or dolphin spit?

I'm hoping you can settle a little argument Scott and I have been having. When the dolphin pictured above was swimming alongside our boat in the Bay of Islands, it sprayed us with something. I think it was dolphin spit and Scott thinks it was dolphin snot. Scott's theory is that because the liquid in question came out of the dolphin's blowhole, it has to be snot. But I would much prefer to think the dolphin spit on us - it seems marginally better than having a dolphin blow his nose all over you. Has this ever happened to you and was it snot or spit?

This dolphin was one of very large group that came up and started swimming and playing around our boat as we were leaving the Bay of Islands. There must have been at least 30 of them and I even saw a little baby dolphin among them. It was a fantastic send-off and the most amazing dolphin encounter we have had. They were incredibly close to our boat and at times we couldn't move the rudder as the dolphins were swimming right up against it. We were both jumping up and down with excitement and Scott was madly trying to capture all the action with his camera. And then, just like that, it was over and they all turned and headed off in another direction. We hadn't seen too many dolphins this year and especially not up this close and personal - it was incredible experience that I won't soon forget. 

Here's the rest of the scoop on our time up in the Bay of Islands. We've chartered up there previously (which you can read about here and here), but we focused more on sailing on those trips. This time we got a chance to do more exploring of the islands and had some great walks.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


Paradise Bay, Urupukapuka Island

We left Whangamumu at 9:30 am and anchored at Paradise Bay, Urupukapuka Island in the beautiful Bay of Islands at 1:30 pm. Right after we dropped the hook, the local gang of kingfish came around to pay us a visit. I wonder if kingfish wish they were dolphins as they always seem to "play" around our boat. Except their form of "play" seems to involve smashing into the hull and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Scott tried to get one of them, but they seemed less interested in his lure and more interested in our boat. Eventually they left and we dinghied over to the island and went for a hike. Urupukapuka is probably one of the nicest islands I have been to in New Zealand and they have some fantastic trails. Highly recommended if you are ever out this way! 

We rarely swim in New Zealand as we find the water way too cold, but after our long and sweaty hike, we had a nice swim before heading back to our boat. Strangely, we were the only boat in the anchorage that night which was a pleasant surprise as we're so used to having other boats around, many of whom like to anchor way to close to us for comfort. Unfortunately, the wind kicked up during the night and the bay ended up getting quite roly-poly over night, so it wasn't the most restful sleep. You would think I would be used to that by now - I'm not.

Monday, 3 March 2014


Parorenui Bay

The next day we focused on some sail training running through our tacking routine but then the winds got to be too much of a nuisance to practice anything else. So, we took the sails down and headed into Parorenui Bay around lunchtime and anchored there for the night. I needed a shower pretty badly by this point, but I decided that it was too windy and cold to be stripping down and washing up in the cockpit. I'm setting a new standard of personal hygiene and it is getting to be a pretty low one. 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Waiwhapuku Bay, Moturua Island

On Tuesday, we planned to do some more sail training, but we were only able to get in a short session of tacking and man overboard drills before we got hit by a squall and decided to call it a day. We anchored at Waiwhapuku Bay, Moturua Island and then went for a nice walk on the island after lunch.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Waipiro Bay

It was another wind warning day with gusts of 35+ forecast, so we moved over to Waipiro Bay where we would get better protection. We had planned to head up to Whangaroa, but the weather kind of ruled that out for us. So instead, we dinghied over to the mainland to try to find the trail to Whangamumu where we had anchored a couple of nights ago. We walked along the road for a while but eventually gave up and headed back. If you've ever walked along roads in New Zealand, you'll know that sidewalks are rare, there are often blind curves and you always wonder if a car is going to hit you. It was one of those days where the walk along the road didn't seem worth it.  So instead, we headed back to the boat and got ready for an early start the next day to continue our adventures up north. 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins! This was the day of the great dolphin send-off as we left the Bay of Islands and, as if the up close and personal encounter wasn't enough, we also got to see a group of dolphins a bit further out once we left the Bay of Islands and started heading up north. I think it was the dolphins way of trying to make it up to us for the bad weather we had while visiting their playground.  

Overall
  • Total nautical miles = 27
  • Number of dolphins playing around our boat = 30+ (plus another group later on!)
  • Number of walks = 3
  • Number of days impacted by the wind = 3 (damn you wind, damn you!)

Chart of Bay of Islands showing the bays where we anchored. Sourced from LINZ. Crown Copyright reserved.

So, what do you think? Was it dolphin snot or dolphin spit? Have you ever had any close encounters with dolphins or other wildlife?

Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi! 

You can find more Flashback Friday fun at A Life Examined.


21 comments:

  1. Well, that's how he breathes, but it's not his mouth - more like his nose. So yeah, snot. Although actually it was pretty much just ocean water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of it being ocean water - much nicer idea than spit or snot :-)

      Delete
  2. I don't know about spit or snot, but I think I'll go along with what Alex said. Mostly ocean water.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    ReplyDelete
  3. I encountered a bear at a dumpster once and decided to through my trash away later. My husband swam with dolphins once and got deathly sick. I don't think it's snot or spit exactly. I think it's mostly just water.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very smart move! I would have waited until much later to throw the trash away :-)

      Delete
  4. Hmm, sea water sounds a more attractive proposition! But whatever it was, it can't take away from the amazing experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very true - having dolphins swim alongside your boat is amazing!

      Delete
  5. I would love to have a close encounter with dolphins, and I don't care if it's snot or spit that they spray.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a very cool experience! Thanks for popping by :-)

      Delete
  6. Swimming with the dolphins is on my bucket list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make sure you do it in the wild and not in captivity! :-)

      Delete
    2. Now, swimming with dolphins in the wild would be absolutely amazing. I would happily let them snot or spit all over me.

      Delete
  7. Does a dolphin breathe through its nose or its mouth? :-) I guess through its blowhole. But, does that make it snot or spit? If I was a dolphin, it would be snot. If my husband was the dolphin, it would be spit. Hmmm... Maybe it depends on the dolphin?

    As a long term cruiser/sailor we have had uncountable encounters with dolphins, mostly when sailing and they play off the bow. But, in the Marquesas, we had them visit us in anchorages, showing off with jumps and flips, which was incredible. I once swam with them in the wild, many years ago in New Zealand and that was a wonderful experience as well. The time I tried to do this in the Marquesas, they had no interest in my presence. Oh, and then there was the time in Monkey Mia in Australia, where the dolphins came to shore to greet (and get fed) by people. And all the dolphins swimming in the ICW and along the coasts of the Carolinas and Florida. I LOVE dolphins and I miss them dearly living on land now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your time in Monkey Mia sounds wonderful. I've only seen dolphins alongside our boat, never up that close and personal. Wow!

      Delete
  8. The closest I ever got to dolphins was at Sea World. Isn't it sea water they're spraying, like whales? Sounds better than snot, or spit. :) Your sea-faring adventures are fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie - glad you're enjoying are strange little adventures :-)

      Delete
  9. I did once take a tour of a dolphin sanctuary which was absolutely beautiful. But the fact it was a sanctuary meant that we couldn't approach them and if they came within ten meters of our kayaks, we had to stop rowing until they passed. Absolutely no touching under any circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need more places like this to protect our wildlife. Sounds like a wonderful experience.

      Delete
  10. Did you ever get an answer as to what comes out of the blowhole? I would have assumed it was water...but perhaps with some mucous mixed in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've decided to go with what Alex said - it's just ocean water. I can live with that :-)

      Delete

We LOVE when people leave comments. It's so much more fun hearing what you have to say. If you have a blog, make sure you leave a link and I'll be sure to pop on by.