I’ve been paddleboarding at Stump Pass Beach State Park every day for over a year now. It’s one of my favorite places to explore, for a few reasons. The water there is clearer than other inshore local areas. And my favorite local dolphin hangs out just a short distance away from the public kayak launch at the park. It may seem silly, but he’s a bit of showoff. After paddling with him almost daily, we can spot each other from a distance. He knows my voice and usually comes over when he hears me giving lessons on land and on the water. I can always tell him apart from other dolphins by his dorsal fin and playful personality. I’ve become very attached to this dolphin, and named him “Friendly.”
A lot of our clients that paddle with us at Stump Pass have met this dolphin. He’s one of the reasons why we have so many photos of paddleboarding with dolphins. He sticks around and lets me take his photo with our boarders. I’ve become a bit protective of him and his local environment. I feel that it’s my responsibility to educate my clients and other paddlers on how to keep him safe.
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