30. April 2012 · Comments Off on Florida Discoveries 21: Dolphin Cruising in Destin · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,

We had a wonderful afternoon on a dolphin cruise. The weather couldn't have been more cooperative!

I guess it’s been a while since I wrote one of these “Discoveries” posts, isn’t it? It doesn’t mean we didn’t do anything — in fact, I’m reminded that I should relabel my USS Alabama, Mardi Gras and Santa Train posts “Alabama Discoveries”…we do seem to spend a lot of time there, don’t we?

Maybe while I’m at it I’ll rename our Atlanta road trips “Georgia Discoveries” 🙂

Thanks to a Groupon I purchased several months ago, we were able to take advantage of a dolphin cruise around Destin Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico this past weekend. The Groupon benefits expired on April 30th, so in typical Major Mom fashion, we took the trip on April 29th.

We took a 30 minute narrated tour of Destin Harbor and then traveled through the East Pass into the Gulf and got up close and personal with three separate pods of dolphins. As you might have read or heard, dolphins are indeed very social and friendly. The younger ones enjoyed showing off for us — trying to get as much air as possible when jumping!

I only took pictures of the first pod. The light was the best and I wasn’t getting to observe them very well through a digital camera viewfinder.

The kids enjoyed the trip after the narrated harbor tour. They found the narration boring and kept asking when we’d see dolphins. Timmy particularly enjoyed when we traveled at speed over wake waves. Both boys had a chance to steer the boat, which was very kind (and BRAVE!) of the ship captain!

Later on, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset complete with anti-crepuscular rays! Enjoy some pictures.  See the complete album here.

Our boat. Not elegant, but it served its purpose.

This heron was very bold -- had no problems sitting right next to you.

My boys!

Even though the crew gave us popcorn to feed the seagulls, the birds seemed to prefer these ladies' Chili Cheese Fritos.

Dave and Jacob were trying to feed the birds also. I'm not sure they were as successful at those girl with the Fritos.

We were often within 10 feet of the dolphins. Great views!

My closest-up shot, but not quite as clear as I'd like.

Timmy at the helm. He was asked to turn the boat left...and he did!

Jacob at the wheel.

Not sure how well you can see this, but this was with an iPhone camera app I have called "360 Panorama". Automatically makes the panoramic shot for you.

The sunset was brilliant -- some cirrus and local controlled fire-generated smoke made for some spectacular colors. Can you see the "anti-crepuscular rays" radiating upwards from the sun?