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Dolphins visit Tenby Sailing Club

by Ted Lewis 5 Oct 2018 20:06 BST 3 October 2018
Bottle-nosed dolphins who came out to play at Tenby © Max Richards

The summer season came to an end at Tenby Sailing Club at the end of September. From April to the end of September members enjoyed club racing twice a week and junior sailing, catering for about 30 youngsters, every Wednesday.

Enthusiasm was high producing a record turnout for the last Tuesday evening race, and the juniors so enjoyed their season they went for an extra session on 3rd October.

The glorious sunny and warm weather (well, it is Wales) might have had something to do with that, and to everyone's excitement they were joined by a school of bottle-nosed dolphins who came out to play. Seldom seen in this bay, they cavorted around the dinghies for some time.

Dolphins are not unheard of off the Welsh coast, but no-one in Tenby Sailing Club had ever experienced anything quite like this before as the marine mammals played, jumped and splashed around the boats for more than a quarter of an hour.

"The kids were ecstatic," said assistant instructor Max Richards, who filmed the encounter on his phone. "It was our last junior sailing evening of the season, just an informal session thrown onto the end. There were a few people who didn't go, who really wished afterwards they had.

"We saw movement as we headed out, but just assumed it was seals. Then we saw they were dolphins and they started following us, at one point they were throwing mackerel around – none of us had seen anything like that so close before.

"They were following us, brushing up against the boats and jumping within two feet of them, until it was getting too late for us to stay out. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved, the sort of thing people pay a lot of money to see, and it just happened out of the blue for us."

The club winter series starts this Sunday morning; two races back to back before back to the club for Sunday lunch. Every Sunday until Christmas. Visitors welcome.

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