Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Dolphins on the Port Side
Who doesn't love dolphins? As usual, I saw my first dolphins coming in to Beaufort NC, as happens almost every year. I've heard of them as far north as the Neuse River, near Oriental, but I've never seen them there. So I always approach Beaufort with a sense of anticipation, and I've yet to be disappointed in the last ten visits.
From here on, dolphins will be a regular sight on the ICW, feeding in the shallows. Most people think of dolphins as peaceful creatures, and by and large they are - but they ARE a carnivore and to see them on the hunt is actually quite fearsome.
A group of dolphins will occasionally corner a school of fish, circling it to keep in under their control and then suddenly, they start attacking the school. The first time I saw this, I thought it was sharks in a frenzy - teeth flashing, splashing everywhere as they dove and surfaced over and over again.
Let me tell you, I have a great deal more respect for dolphins now.
Even more fascinating is the intelligence of dolphins. One pod of dolphins has developed a unique method of hunting - trapping their prey within a ring of muddy water. Rather than tell you about it, watch this video - it's absolutely amazing...
Tomorrow, I leave Beaufort, destination Mile Hammock, an anchorage beside Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base. It's not unusual to see tanks roaming around, and aircraft of all types flying above the anchorage. An interesting stop.