15 May 2018
Seeing dolphins on Sanibel Island is a treat, but a fairly common one.
They are not shy and are often seen swimming not far from the beach.
Because they are so comfortable with people, they even come close into the shore line, frolicking and chasing each other about.
And almost any boat trip will be an inviting opportunity for a family of dolphin who love to splash and jump in the wake of motorized boats.
Manatees are a lot more reserved, moving at a much slower pace and not nearly as visible.
So having a chance to see dolphin and manatee together and close up is a real treat.
This is what you can see when you take the late day, Dolphin Watch and Wildlife Cruise that leaves from South Seas Plantation. This cruise is the perfect family cruise as it leaves at 4 p.m. and returns at 5:30, allowing the day to be filled with beach and bike time and for dinner plans to go uninterrupted. The narration on board the cruise is provided by volunteers from the Sanibel and Captiva Conservation Foundation, and they are an exceptionally well versed and entertaining group, providing information on the history, culture and wild life during the entire cruise.
As happens 95 percent of the time, dolphin do flock behind the boat, but before the boat even takes off, sun shining, palm trees waving in the breeze, possibly the best part of the adventure happens right at the dock.
There, dolphins can be seen cavorting in their wild and fun filled style and if you look closely, it is likely that you will see a manatee or two moving about under and near the piers.
Big lumbering creatures, they are a little frightening to see, but are truly gentle and pose no threat or danger.
As many years as we have made explorations on and around Sanibel, there have been few occasions where both dolphins and manatees were so close by and observable.
We highly recommend this cruise and at only $27.50 per person; from Captiva Cruises, it is affordable besides being a great deal of fun!