WATCH: Playful dolphins delight sailors off the Dorset coast (From Bournemouth Echo)

SAILORS enjoying the weekend’s sunshine have been delighted by a playful pod of dolphins.

On Saturday morning, around 30 of the aquatic mammals were seen off Hengistbury Head.

The pod then swam west, where they were spotted near Old Harry Rocks.

Will Evans, who lives in Mudeford, captured the dolphins on video.

He said: “We were around a quarter of a mile from Hengistbury Head when we saw them.

“I knew they’d been seen for a couple of days before but it’s rare for them to come back for a few days in a row.

“We decided to go out and we’d been bobbing around for an hour and a half without any luck.

“As we decided to start heading for home we suddenly saw them.

“There were about 30 and they were with us for half an hour or so.

“We were so lucky to see them.”

Will, 30, went out against yesterday to try and find the pod.

However, he was forced to give up without another sighting.

“I couldn’t find them,” he said.

“They come and go with the tides.

“I’ve only ever seen a dolphin once before, years ago, but it was just the one.

“This was something else. I was really lucky to see them.”

Paul Wyman, who lives in Bournemouth, also saw the “amazing” dolphins on Saturday.

He said: “While on a trip with my girlfriend Klaudia in Swanage we went on a boat ride to Old Harry Rocks and captured the dolphins on video.

“How amazing – we had no idea they were right on our doorstep.”

Some dolphins can travel at speeds of up to 34.5 miles per hour. Calves are typically born in the spring and summer months.

The creatures are often spotted off the Dorset coast, and in particular off Old Harry, Kimmeridge, Studland and Portland, although rarely in such large numbers.

Volunteers are needed by the Sea Watch Foundation to count sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises in waters off Dorset between July 29 and August 6.

Kathy James of the foundation said: “It’s a really easy process – you just need to like sitting looking at the sea and be prepared to jot down a few details.

“We’re particularly looking for wildlife enthusiasts in your area to help us cover the Dorset coast.”

For more information, visit seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2017

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15285834.WATCH__Playful_dolphins_delight_sailors_off_the_Dorset_coast/

On – 15 May, 2017 By Alex Winter