2004-04-08 / Travel

Explore Dolphins’ Natural Habitat Off The Virginia Beach Coast

Explore Dolphins’ Natural Habitat Off The Virginia Beach Coast

(Virginia Beach, Va., March 2004) - As the kayak slices through the ocean waves, suddenly a fin appears - and then another, and then another. But there is no need to panic -these aren’t the marine creatures to fear. This is a chance to see up close a pod of friendly bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat, as they perform acrobatic displays and frolic off the Virginia Beach coast.

Each summer, Virginia Beach welcomes the return of the beloved bottlenose dolphins, as they enjoy the balmy temperatures and thrive in the food-rich waters of the mouth of the Cheaspeake Bay. Visitors to the East Coast resort city can choose resort city can choose form a number of dolphin watching excursion options. Trips generally run form April to September each year.

Embark upon a Dolphin Watching Boat Trip, offered by the Virginia Ma-rine Science Museum (VMSM). Boat trip passengers observe dolphins as the feed, tail slap and jump among the waves out in the bay. Dolphin watchers often ride the Atlantic Princess, a 145-passsenger boat designed to maximize wildlife viewing with an upper deck that is open to the public and a glassed-in, air-conditioned seating area below. Although dolphin’s sightings are never guaranteed, VMSM educators provide hands-on experience with marine mam-mal artifacts. For more information about VMSM dolphin watching boat trips, visit www.vmsm.com or call 757-437-BOAT.

Visitors looking for a more physical dolphin watching adventures can canoe through the calm waters of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or kayak through the ocean waves off 89th Street or Sandbridge beach. Several regional outfitters offer guided kayak and canoe tours, including: Tidewater Adventures (757-480-1999 or www. tidewateradventures.com), Wild River Outfitters (757-431-8586 or www. wildriver-outfitterss.com)and Sandbridge Ecosports (757-721-6210 or www.sandbridge- ecosports.com).

Challenge the mighty waves or paddle through serene waters, breathe the salty air and enjoy spectacular displays of sea life. No matter which adventure a visitor chooses, the Dol-phin Watching excursions promise to be a memorable experience for the entire family.

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