Dolphin STEALS From Diver!

– Oh man, I am so
excited right now. We are currently off
the coast of Bimini searching for one of
the most intelligent but playful creatures
to call the ocean home. That’s right guys, today
we’re swimming with dolphins. (upbeat dramatic music) Dolphin stole my bandana! (upbeat inspiring music) (playful music) I’m Mark Vins, and welcome
back to Blue Wilderness. To say we’ve had some close
encounters on this show would definitely be
an understatement. I mean, who can forget the time I laid beside a lemon shark at the bottom of the ocean on our very first night dive. Or the time we were
swarmed by porcupine fish, and I even got to pet one. Or swimming with those
big, beautiful tiger sharks at Tiger Beach. Yep, it’s no secret that
getting up close and personal is one of our specialties. But there’s a big difference
between witnessing an animal in the wild and actually
communicating with one. The Atlantic spotted dolphin is one of the most
social, playful, and intelligent animals
in all of the sea. And something almost
miraculous happened when we ran into a pod of
these incredible creatures off the cost of Bimini. And honestly, I never
would’ve believed it myself if I didn’t see it
with my own two eyes. Bimini is an island chain that comprises the western
most portion of the Bahamas. And believe it or not, it’s only about 50 miles
due east of Miami, Florida. But in many ways, feels like a completely
different universe. It’s said that Bimini
was even referenced by Ponce de Leon in his search
for the fountain of youth. And it’s pretty easy to see why. The blue waters here are alive and absolutely breathtaking. On this adventure we
teamed up yet again with Jonathan Bird and
his Blue World crew for the search of these
Atlantic spotted dolphins. But finding them
isn’t always easy, and you have to
know where to look. And fortunately for us, the crew of our ship,
the Dolphin Dream, has been doing
this for many years and are world-renowned
experts at locating the Atlantic spotted dolphins. They know just where to look and can even identify
individual dolphins from these world-famous pods. So believe it or not, we don’t really find the
dolphins, they find us. These dolphins have been
playing with the Dolphin Dream for over 40 years. This is a very
special population of Atlantic spotted
dolphin that do this. You definitely don’t
wanna jump in the water with just any pod of dolphins. It can be potentially dangerous and they might not
be that friendly. You definitely don’t
wanna do this by yourself and you wanna make sure you’re
with a professional team if you’re ever going to
swim with wild dolphins. As it turns out, these
mammals love boats, and more specifically,
they love surfing the wake from the boats,
like the Dolphin Dream. So Mario, Jonathan and I posted
up at the bow of the boat and scanned the blue horizon. And after a couple of
hours, we spotted them. Or more accurately,
they spotted us. Look at them there,
right next to the bow. It was time to jump in. We’re leaving the scuba gear
on deck for this adventure because we want to stay as
light and as agile as possible. These dolphins are
incredibly fast. So the only things
we’ll be bringing into the water with us
are our snorkel gear, some GoPro’s, and a bandana. Yeah, you heard that right. A bright red bandana. So these Atlantic spotted
dolphins that we’re gonna be trying to play with
love colorful things. So these bandanas are
sort of an offering or a toy that we’re
gonna bring out there into the water with us, and the hope is that it’ll
keep the dolphins entertained so we get some really
cool shots in the process. You see, the thing is,
these dolphins love to play, and it turns out they
are experts at a version of underwater capture the flag. But it doesn’t always
work out that well. Let’s face it, humans
are kinda slow and well, boring if you are a dolphin. But we tried to
get them interested to play the game anyway. And after some free dives and a little bit of
taunting with that bandana, it almost worked. And I began to see the
personalities of these dolphins start to come out. In fact, it became
clear pretty fast that the Atlantic spotted
dolphins are incredible animals. They have streamlined bodies, perfect for speed
and acrobatics. They are known to leap playfully out of the water
alongside boats. And they swim in pods
anywhere from five individuals all the way up to 100. In other words, these
are social animals. Although I wouldn’t
fully understand just how social they
were until later. The difference between
the adults and the calves was easy to (clears
throat) spot. Juveniles are born
both smooth and gray, and only develop
their spots over time. And it is estimated
that these dolphins can live between 30
and 40 years of age. And they can stay under
water for get this, up to 10 minutes at a time. Whoa. Considering all of
that, this was a lot for us humans to keep up with. And as much as we tried, we couldn’t get this
pod to take the hint. So, we brought out the sea
scooter to sweeten the deal. The sea scooter allowed
us to zip around at depth, spin with the dolphins, and
play with them at their speed. But unfortunately, this
pod just wasn’t into it. And off they went. Well, we just had about
25 spotted dolphins swimming all around us. Unfortunately, they
didn’t hang out very long so we’re gonna
get back on a boat so we can go find another
group for round two. It’s true that many people
have been deeply moved by their encounters
with these animals. And once we are back
aboard the Dolphin Dream, I was afraid that we
would not get to have this experience for ourselves. And as the day dragged on, our hopes grew
more and more dim. But then, just as the sun
started to dip low in the sky, we spotted another pod. Here we go, dolphin
time, let’s do it! This time it was a much
larger group of dolphins and it was instantly obvious that they were excited and ready for some fun. Their distinct vocalizations and powerful swimming
yet again reminded us that we were in their world. But their nudges and playfulness made us feel welcome
and right at home. The game started with
a dramatic free dive of the sea scooter. The dolphins gave
chase and what followed seemed to be almost
choreographed. They mimicked our swimming,
sometimes chasing us, and sometimes allowing
us to try to chase them. But they always stayed
just a fin ahead. And that bandana, I decided
to give that one more chance. So I dove down as far as
I could and let it go. And to my surprise,
they took it. Instantly my mind
raced with excitement. Let the games begin. (laughing) The dolphin stole my bandana! As soon as they had the
bandana in their possession, they raced around like a
well-practiced sports team, passing it back and
forth to each other from their tail fins all the
way to their pectoral fins, playing a nearly flawless
game of keep away. As we all chased
around my bandana, which was hilariously
always just out of reach, I realized we weren’t
just goofing around with these animals, we were
communicating with them. We were communicating in sport. (upbeat music) Because in this
moment we were playing a well-organized and
coordinated game, and it was a game with rules. And the main rule was, keep the bandana away
from the slow pokes, all while being good
natured and fun. Have you ever seen a
dolphin smile so big? Look at that. I just can’t grab it. What’s most amazing about this is that this is the kind of
thing that you do with friends, not with wild marine mammals. But under that mysterious
deep blue surface, in a region once
thought to contain the mythical fountain of youth, the spark of intelligence
and friendship was clear to everyone present. I had never experienced
anything like this in my entire life. It was like I was playing one
of my favorite childhood games with some friends
down the block. But they weren’t just
friends down the block. These were wild marine animals, and the connection
we made through sport was proof of their
incredible intelligence. And the game played on. In fact, it went on for a while and we chased around that
bandana as hard as we could. And when we began to slow
or show signs of fatigue, the dolphins initiated
contact with us, almost like saying,
good job human, you’re holding
your own down here and we appreciate your effort, now let’s keep playing. But ultimately this
wasn’t our playground. This was the ocean. This was their playground, and as hard as we tried, we just couldn’t keep up. And eventually we became
flat out exhausted. And then, as the sun set, our new friends
said their goodbyes and swam back into the abyss. And would you believe it? They were even nice enough
to give back my bandana. I’ll take that,
thank you very much. That was so cool (laughing). I never thought
swimming with dolphins could be so amazing, but
today was quite possibly the coolest thing
we’ve ever done. – [Guy With Blue Snorkel]
(laughing) That was awesome. – Dude, nice job! There it is, I successfully
got my bandana back but wow, what an epic day. Swimming with dolphins
off the coast of Bimini has to be one of the coolest
things we’ve ever done, and certainly something
I’ll never forget. I’m Mark Vins, be brave. Stay wild. We’ll see you on the next dive. We’d like to extend an
extra special thank you to Jonathan Bird, the
Blue World dive team, and the crew of
the Dolphin Dream. They truly made this expedition
the memory of a lifetime. If you enjoyed
swimming with dolphins, make sure to go back
and watch the time we went on our first
ever night dive and got up close
with a lemon shark. And don’t forget, subscribe and click the notification bell so you can join me and the crew on the next Blue
Wilderness adventure. (wolf howling)

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