A pod of porpoises that we encountered on 6/17/13…AWESOME!!!
During yesterday’s 1 o’clock charter we had an amazing experience that I have to share.
After checking the radar with the 1st Mate then re-checking with our guests we decided the T-storms were well to the North of Tilghman Island and that our charter was a “go” so we headed out on to the Chesapeake Bay for a two-hour sail with my oldest son, the 1st Mate Laura and a very cool family from NY.
We had a beautiful 8-10 knots of wind out of the South so we trimmed up for a comfortable beam reach and headed towards the other side.
After about 45 minutes under sail the skies darkened and it started to sprinkle but there was no sign of thunder or lightning so we did what sailors do and grabbed the jackets to continued on. It was almost comical how poor the weatherman’s forecast proved to be. Instead of scattered, light rain showers we were treated to torrential rains that socked the visibility in to almost nothing. Our guests were great sports about the buckets of water being dumped on our heads so we all laughed and enjoyed the sail.
After twenty minutes of downpour the rain slackened and no sooner had visibility increased my son Jack yelled “dolphins!!!”
We all spun around to see nothing but open water. I was just about to write it off as wishful thinking when a pod surfaced about 50 feet from our starboard quarter. As we all stood there and watched they came closer and at one point were maybe 20 feet from the Lady Patty. It was incredible!!!
There were at least fifteen and maybe as many as thirty of them and they moved back and forth through what I assume to be a bait fish buffet. While a few of them surfaced and clearly checked us out, we were not nearly as interesting as food. Slowly we ghosted away from the pod. It wasn’t until we started to separate from them that we all thought to pull out the cameras and smartphones. I knew if we turned and tried to get greedy with the encounter we would disperse the bait so we snapped a few pics from a distance and eased on about our business.
I have seen porpoises on the Bay maybe 3 or 4 times in my life and it was always only 2 or 3 at a time. This was by far my closest marine mammal encounter here on the Chesapeake and certainly the highest numbers of porpoise in a pod that I have ever seen. It was absolutely amazing and something Jack and I will talk about for a long time.
See, you never know what you might encounter on the Chesapeake Bay.
Lady Patty, Out