The British Virgin Islands has
the most friendly Dolphin, so during your sail keep a
watchful eye open for this gorgeous creature. Expect to
enjoy a unique opportunity to swim and play with a wild,
and friendly, dolphin.
Captain Jack of Dream walker.
I first met Lucy on April 20,
1998. 1 was between charters and had taken advantage of
the dry sunny weather to add a few coats of varnish to the
Dreamwalker's extensive exterior teak. Shortly after
beginning work at 06:00, I noticed a dolphin swimming
around Dreamwalker and a couple of unoccupied yachts
moored nearby in Elephant Bay. Because dolphins are not an
uncommon sight in the Virgin Islands and because the
correct application of varnish does not tolerate
interruptions, I continued my varnishing while the dolphin
continued to make her rounds.
By 10:00 my varnishing was done
and my curiosity peaked:
Throughout the morning the dolphin--which I later named
'Lucy--had continued circling the three vessels as if she
were looking for something or someone with which to play.
I changed into my snorkeling gear,
and when she again approached Dreamwalker, I dove in and
swam to where she had last surfaced. Once there I lay
motionless in the Water.
Not five seconds later Lucy was
staring, thorough my swim mask, into my eyes; her bottle
nose not 12" away! Tentatively, I slowly reached out
and touched and then stroked her back.
In response she turned over and
let me scratch her stomach. For about ten minutes we swam
and touched and dove together. When she disappeared, I
returned to the Dreamwalker and my chores, keeping an eye
out for Lucy the friendly dolphin. An hour later she
returned, and again we swam and touched and dove together,
I returned to the Dreamwalker filled with joy and awe for
the lovely creature that had allowed me, for a little
while, to become her friend.
Over the next week and a half
Lucy swam with a number of my sailing friends during her
tour of Elephant Bay. One day I watched her lead six or
seven snorkelers on a merry chase before she stopped and
let them pet and hug her. Then she simply
two weeks before I first met Lucy, an English sailor
cruised into Long Bay and docked for a couple of days at
Safe (Yacht) Haven, At the time I was also at dock,
preparing for a charter. As sailors in new port often do,
he stopped by Dreamwalker to ask about provisioning, parts
stores and the like.
During the course of our
conversation he mentioned that he had the most
exhilarating experience at Cane Garden Bay In Tortola, He
had actually swam with and petted a dolphin! He asked if
that was a common experience in the Virgin Islands. I
replied that I had never heard of anyone else having such
an opportunity, and affirmed that he should take such an
experience as a very good omen.
Although I continued looking for
Lucy and listening for stories about her after our April
20 meeting, I saw and heard nothing until May 22 of this
year. Just after sailing off mooring on a Bareboat
Certification Charter, I noticed two dolphins swimming
toward Dreamwalker. As we sailed by one of the dolphins
she did a sideways swimming, tail stand; her head cocked
as if she wanted to make eye contact with those of us on
board. I was delighted, but puzzled, by this show: I had
previously seen such tail stands exhibited only by trained
dolphins and in movies. While I cannot say for certain
that the tail standing dolphin was Lucy, I can tell you
that It had Lucy's unusually light face.
The following week's charter
guests chose to spend an afternoon ashore at Cane Garden
Bay. So on June 3 we arrived in harbor relatively early.
Just after securing my ground tackle, I looked up in
wonder to see a 40' Beneteau Bareboat entering harbor at
six knots or more. My wonder soon turned to amazement when
the Beneteau circled through the anchorage, never slowing
down! The third time they flew by I asked if they had a
problem. They pointed to their wake and yelled, "We
have a dolphin following us!" When the skipper
finally brought the vessel to ldle. His five passengers
jumped in the water to "play" with the dolphin.
By this time, having seen her
white face, I knew it was Lucy. She too wanted to play.
But rather than letting the snorkelers hug and scratch
her, she led them on a game of hide and seek. She would
swim slowly away while they frantically followed, then -
just when they were about to catch her - she would dive
and come up behind or between them. She would then
continue the game by swimming slowly away with her
frenzied fans following her. After fifteen minutes she
tired of the game & finally swam away.
Around 16:00 my guest and I set sail
for Jost Van Dyke. A quarter-mile out of Cane Garden Bay,
"Lucy" appeared beside Dreamwalker.
She swam with us for the rest of
the trip, departing only when we entered Great Harbor.
In attempting to research Lucy's
background, I happened to cross wakes with Jim Spence, a
former Bareboat Certification Student of mine. Jim claims
that he met Lucy last year when he and his lady, Ellen,
rented a bareboat from Sun Yacht Charters. Arriving in Fat
Hog Bay, Jim was a bit apprehensive about the charter
because Ellen suffered from chronic middle ear problems.
Shortly after boarding the rented vessel, a dolphin swam
up to the transom and Ellen spent almost an hour petting
and playing with it. The experience instilled in her a
love of the Caribbean and they had a delightful week
When Jim asked others about the
friendly dolphin, he was told that a number of trained
dolphin were brought to the islands for a movie, and that
one of them simply decided to stay rather than return to
its trainer. I can vouch for Jim's veracity, but not for
those who told him the story. Is Lucy a trained dolphin
who chose freedom rather than security when given the
opportunity? Or is she a wild dolphin who particularly
likes human contact?
I cannot say. But I can tell you
that those of us who have been fortunate enough to sail
with her, to swim with her, and to touch her have
ourselves been touched by incredible joy, incredible
happiness and incredible love. Dreamwalker
is a Barrington-Hall preferred yacht. Magnificent
well appointed sailboat. Superb
captain and personal chef. And Lucy? Priced
right, we have recommended raising their rates.
For More information on Chartering
Sail Yacht Dreamwalker (click
2805 East Oakland Park Blvd #397
Toll Free 1-800-478-2029
USA Tel. (954) 720-0475
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