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Pod of Dolphins
updated: Jan 30, 2013, 1:00 PM

By Steve McGovern

I was out at Goleta Pier this morning around 9:30 when I saw, just off-shore, what I thought was a pod (?) of dolphins. They were in close, well within the length of the pier. I took pictures every time I saw one come up, hoping to get a good shot of, perhaps, a dolphin breaching, or whatever it's called. Didn't see that. Mostly just a lot of dorsal fins. When I got home, I downloaded the photos, and upon closer examination I am not sure I was looking only at dolphins. A dolphin's dorsal fin has a graceful curve to the back on the forward surface and a graceful curve to the front on the rear surface. The tip can be hooked. Now, I don't know if that is something that develops with age, or if that description fits a dolphin from date of birth. Anyway, when I looked at the pictures, some of them didn't look like that at all.

I'm pretty sure these are dolphins, although one fin is a bit ragged:

It's the next two pictures I wonder about:

There even appears to be some white near the fin of the animal coming toward the camera in the second pictures. Could be just glare. At that time of day the sun would be to the rear of the animal and on the left as we're looking at it.

I might just be imagining things. There did not seem to be any strife. There did appear to be larger and smaller animals which I attributed to juvenile dolphins. Somebody out there in ED world will know.


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