Although yesterday I had no pictures to share from the beach, today I have a plethora of pictures from our Friday evening dolphin cruise.
We have taken the dolphin cruise before in Destin (we always go on the Southern Star) but still enjoy it each time we go. We took the sunset cruise this time, which lasts from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We had to arrive at the dock by 5:15 to pick up (and pay for) our tickets, and then we waited on the pier for the boat’s gates to open.
The entrance to the harbor is guarded both by sand bars and a stone jetty.
Once we entered the Gulf of Mexico, the boat turned right (I know the nautical terms are port and starboard, but I have enough trouble with left and right) and headed up towards Fort Walton Beach. Halfway between Destin and Fort Walton Beach, we came across two dolphin pods, which totaled about 12 to 18 dolphins, and they decided to hang around the boat for a while. It was fantastic to see all of them, but the special treat was the opportunity to view a mother dolphin with her calf. The calf wanted to come closer to the boat, but Mom wasn’t having any of that; ever time the calf managed to get on the side closest to the boat, Mom had him/her jostled back out of position by the time they surfaced again.
I did not take any pictures of the dolphins – by the time I knew where they had surfaced, they were on their way under again. Also, pictures of the dolphins from the boat never do justice to the impact their presence has on you in person. The picture just looks like a piece of gray amid the blue-green waters of the Gulf, but when you are seeing them it is breath-taking.
However, I did take pictures of Kayla driving the boat. Every cruise, after the Captain has found dolphins, he takes the boat away to somewhere harmless and lets the kids get their pictures taken holding the wheel of the boat. At the moment each child is holding the wheel, he or she is driving the boat! I know this because he pointed out a slight course correction to Kayla as she sat there. She would have sat there the rest of the cruise, but he nicely told her that just wasn’t possible.
Finally, it was time to head back to the harbor. Along the way I also got some pictures of the Destin shore and sunset.
(Yes, the sand is really that white.)
The dolphin cruise was, as always, a memorable experience. The only problem is that looking at the pictures makes me wish I could go back soon!
Have a great day everyone!