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Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

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Powell River, Canada
posts: 134
reviews: 87
Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

I know some of this has been covered before but had to ask again as their are so many companies offering tours. I came across one called sunlight on Water, does anyone have anything to say about this company. I am a novice senior swimmer , looking to swim with the dolphins and the manta rays. I haven't been in the water for a few years so don't know what to expect. I will be there March 22nd - April 3rd. I think I am looking for something small in numbers for more one on one help. Boat should have a washroom also and some shade as I am fair skinned. i have been dreaming of swimming with dolphins for many yeears so it will be something very special for me. I thought the manta rays looked awesome also. Any help you can give me in deciding would be wonderful.

Thanks in advance.

Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
posts: 19,586
reviews: 41
1. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

Please keep dreaming. If dolphins come to you when you're swimming, you're in luck. However it's illegal to chase or otherwise harass them. Do a search in this forum on swimming with dolphins and on swimming with manta rays.

This is a hot topic. I predict you're going to get LOTS of responses.

Island of Hawaii...
posts: 7,972
reviews: 24
2. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

The only place you can legally swim with the dolphins is at the Hilton. They charge big bucks for it! It is illegal to harass mammals and the companies advertising "swimming with the dolphins" are either using it as a phrase to get business but don't actually do it, or they are scum!

Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 30,259
reviews: 4
3. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

I would ask you to please read this topic and the Protect Dolphins brochure put out by NOAA before going on a dolphin swim, especially Sunlight on Water. Here are the links:

…noaa.gov/pr/…protectdolphins.pdf

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29217-i268-k95511…

also this article from the West Hawai'i Times:

http://wilddolphin.org/westoahu.htm

Coming closer than 300 feet to a wild dolphin is against the guidelines. In Hawai'i there is a phrase you will see -- please kokua -- please help and do the right thing voluntarily even if you can get away with breaking the rules.

Anything I had to say about Sunlight on Water would be angry, upset, and might involve some less than polite words.

I hope you can come here and see the dolphins from afar rather than coming as another tourist who is part of the problem that is hurting the dolphin population. What is more important, your dream or their continued healthy life in the wild?

Denver, Colorado
posts: 2,246
reviews: 25
4. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

Best place to view dolphins is maybe Sea World in San Diego where they are trained to be around humans. Dolphins in the wild can be very aggressive and dangerous especially male dolphins in mating season.

Remember Steve Irwin died a sudden death by getting too friendly with the sea creatures. All of those wild animals are best viewed from a distance. Also, if you touch or harass a sea turtle at Black Sand Beach or elsewhere you will be likely to get a nasty talk from a ranger at best. If you go to Yellowstone Park they will tell you the same about wild land animals as well. "Bless the beasts and the children". Hug your kids and look at wild animals with binoculars.

Saint Helens, Oregon
posts: 213
reviews: 14
5. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

I would go do the manta ray night boat tour... I am sure you can google that and come up with who does that... and then go to the Hilton and do the dolphin swim with them, for a couple hundred dollars you can go to their enclosure, it is quite the experience, and then you won't be harassing the wild dolphins!

on a boat
posts: 98
6. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

These are the answers I would expect from the guys on these forums. But the truth of the matter is you can swim with them legaly their is a loop hole in the law. Sunlight on water offers a trip dolphin tlc even captain zodiac and their is more. So no it's not illegal and I'm going to be very unpopular on these forums for posting this.

Hawaii Island
posts: 35
reviews: 1
7. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

Try Jack's Diving Locker for your manta experience. Their service and boat are first class, and their divemasters and crew walk the line when it comes to interacting with those gentle giants.

They aren't the cheapest outift in town, but definitely one of the best.

Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 30,259
reviews: 4
8. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

>>> But the truth of the matter is you can swim with them legaly their is a loop hole in the law.

Ah, the loophole whereby you can commit dolphin harassment without being technically guilty of it. Look, NOAA is the branch of government charged with enforcing the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and on their website they plead with people not to swim with dolphins, and explain that it is a form of harassment and harm from what is now known scientifically.

When the MMPA was enacted, the extent of the harm done by swimming was not yet known, and swimming was not specifically included as a form of "taking." I think that might be the loophole you are talking about.

NOAA has been pushing for a new definition that includes swimming and would make it officially illegal. In the meantime, their site explains that swimming with wild dolphins violates the spirit and intent of the MMPA and asks people not to do it and to observe from at least 300 feet distant.

Now why would people who care about the dolphins and who consider themselves "spiritual" people, ignore the NOAA guidelines that explain the right thing to do, just because there is a legal loophole?

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
posts: 4,042
reviews: 25
9. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

Aloha angeliclovebug44,

Please listen to all the good advice you have received on this forum and do the right thing by not giving your business to companies that endorse swimming with wild dolphins. If you care about these wonderful, intelligent animals, then watch them from shore with binoculars.

Island of Hawaii...
posts: 7,972
reviews: 24
10. Re: Best company for dolphin swim and manta rays

"Sunlight on water offers a trip dolphin tlc even captain zodiac and their is more. So no it's not illegal and I'm going to be very unpopular on these forums for posting this."

You are correct, you will be very unpopular. Declaring it "not illegal" will make you even more unpopular. Just because companies advertise something that doesn't mean it's legal. There are lots of illegal activities/rentals/tours/etc are advertised in Hawaii. We who live here try to educate the public of things we know, but you can only lead the horse to the water you can't make him drink. Do your own research and find out what the penalty/fine is for swimming with the dolphins and harassing mammals.