If you talk about dolphins in Ireland, everybody thinks of Fungie! Off course! He even has his own Facebook page full of pictures. But apparently there is also Dusty! We didn’t even think of the chance that we could maybe see a dolphin during our road trip so it was a very pleasant surprise!
We were just having lunch along the pier in Doolin Harbour and suddenly we saw people all running towards the water and being enthusiastic about something there. At that moment we were already heading back to the car to get back on the road again. Heleen had a feeling that there maybe were seals in the water or something and went to take a look. After a while she was (I thought..) waving so I kindly waved back. But she wasn’t waving at all; I had to come and see right away! She came running back and almost dragged me back to the pier while saying that there was a dolphin!!
Run, run, runnn!!
We both ran back to see her head pop out of the water every couple of seconds. It was amazing to see such a beautiful creature just a couple of meters away from you in the ocean swimming and jumping. It felt like we had been standing there for hours just watching her swim, every time waiting for the moment she would jump out of the water. Suddenly a guy from the ferry company came towards us and told us a little bit more about her.
He told us that Dusty came to Doolin around 1999 and a local woman named her after Dusty Springfield (60s pop singer) who had spent many days in Doolin before she passed away. They think Dusty is around 16 years old, which makes her very young. Dolphins usually live up to 30 to 50 years.
Dusty is usually very kind to all the visitors who are watching her, but she has a bad temper sometimes as well. In the past a couple of accidents happened with her. For example, pulling some women from the steps into the water. You can see it when she is getting irritated or angry, she will make aggressive snaps to people and slap her head and tail on the water over and over again.
So although she maybe seems cuddly and you might think about getting in the water to have swim with her, don’t! Only professionals that are familiar with Dusty are able to take a swim with her. It is still amazing to see her jump out of the water and see her head pop up every couple of meters. To see such a beautiful, and wild, creature so close is quite an experience itself! Come and see her for yourself! It is just a 15 minute drive or a 2 hour walk from our Burren Hostel!