It is a special treat to look out past the bay at Shark’s Cove or Waimea Bay and see slowing moving along in the waters a pod of spinner dolphins. They can be seeing cruising the surface of the waters in groups that look to be as large as 75 or more.
Spinners are realatively small, reaching lengths of 6 to 7 feet and weighing 130-170 pounds.
Spinner dolphins get their name because they can often be seen doing spinning leaps out of the water. They are known to be very playful (seen playing tag with a plastic bag, or games with bubbles being blown underwater through their blow-hole). They have been seen surfing in Hawai‘i’s waves, and love racing through the stream of a boats bow.
The pods come into the bay to rest and sleep from their evening hunts off shore in Hawai‘i’s deeper waters. When they sleep, they swim in pairs, with each pairs outside brain and eyes awake and looking out for predators. The inside of the pair’s eyes and brains are getting the sleep.
As tempting as it might be, closely approaching or swimming with them prevents them from getting the daytime rest they need. If you find yourself near them while you are in the water, try to maintain at least a 50-yard distance.