There is something about dolphins that sends people all weak kneed with excitement, like seeing the Northern Lights or a field of golden sunflowers – a real treat!
The most famous resident of Dingle is without doubt a dolphin called Funghi (a strange name I agree, I’d have called him Flipper or something more appropriately aquatic) who has taken up residence in the bay and will obligingly turn up to entertain holidaymakers when they take a boat ride out to find him.
The Dingle Dolphin Boat Tours Company is so confident that Funghi will appear and perform that they offer a one hour boat trip into the bay for €16 but free of charge if he fails to turn up. and we are no exception so we purchased our tickets and climbed aboard the boat.
For fifteen to twenty minutes the skipper of the boat patrolled the bay looking for more sightings and sure enough Funghi kept appearing first to starboard and then to port as though he was just teasing everyone on board. Just as the whole thing was getting rather tedious and I thought it would be good to go back to port the dolphin decided it was time for a show and he leapt out of the water several times sending plumes of water into the air and soaking people leaning over the railings trying to get a better view. He kept this up for several minutes and then swam to to the shallow water and rested a while, no doubt to get his breath back.
It was a wonderful display and according to the crew not one that can be guaranteed every trip so when we returned to the port and it was time to pay up I was more than happy to hand over the money for the trip. Some people might be critical of animal displays like this but it seems that Funghi enjoys this human interaction and he is completely free and wild and in no way compelled to give his daily aquatic performances.
This is a picture that my granddaughter drew for me after I told her the story of Funghi:
Header photo by my friend Richard Adams. Richard takes some great photographs and I think you might be interested in visiting his site to see some more of his wildlife and landscapes: