Katharine Hudson and her husband were sailing their boat on Habersham Creek in Beaufort when they came across a lively pod of dolphins.
“The dolphins played with us for nearly a half hour as we drifted under very light winds,” she said.
Hudson captured part of the encounter on video.
In the video, the dolphins kept swimming underneath the boat, causing the tiny sailboat to rock back and forth.
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“This isn’t the first time we’ve had this sort of playful visit with dolphins,” Hudson said. “They seem to appreciate the quiet motion of our small sailboat.”
Hudson said the dolphins even appeared to race their sailboat once it picked up speed.
Dolphin sightings certainly aren’t uncommon in Lowcountry waters. And the local dolphins are known to be extra-playful.
They’re also more likely to get up close and personal with boats, a local dolphin tour guide previously told an Island Packet reporter.
This is partially because the local dolphins remember the time it was legal for humans to feed them off our coast, the guide said.
Feeding marine wildlife — including dolphins and manatees — is against federal law. The Marine Mammal Protection Act was amended in 1994 to include feeding as a form of harassment.
The pod the Hudsons witnessed could have been migratory dolphins, which usually travel in groups of 10 to 20 dolphins. These pods make their way through Lowcountry waters during the winter months.
Local dolphins tend to be spotted in smaller groups.
Even though the sight wasn’t all that rare, Hudson said it was still special.
“These interactions are among the many experiences in nature that explain why having a home here in Beaufort is such a joy,” Hudson said.