Fraternal Twins – “To swim with dolphins in the wild was a long held dream of mine”

by Joe Noonan on August 9, 2017

I took a great deal of time and research in planning for the trip that would become this spring’s trip to Bimini with Dolphin Whisperer, Joe Noonan. To swim with dolphins in the wild was a long held dream of mine. In hindsight the trip was more than I could have hoped for, and I am so pleased with my choice of guide. Joe was very helpful throughout the pre-trip planning, even beyond the wealth of helpful information provided on his web site.

What I was able to view during the trips on his boat and while snorkeling included innumerable schools of tropical fish, including a barracuda and a flying fish, lobster sitting on ocean floor, bottle nose and spotted dolphins, nurse sharks, sea turtle.

Joe was an attentive host on land and sea, providing a unique experience which included snorkeling with dolphins and nurse shark, over wrecks, the Bimini Road, providing aid to Joe in spear fishing a Grouper for dinner. Touring the island with his insight in to history of the island was fun. The local museum is a must see to round out history of the island.

Joe responded to the conditions of the ocean, the  wonderful creatures we encountered and matched this with our capabilities and interests for a truly amazing experience. Responding to the mood and movements of the dolphins he would give direction from the boat, whether on which direction to swim or to throw out the tether line to pull us, he was able to provide hours of direct contact with the pods. At the same time, in contrast, at one point simply shutting down the boat to pause and observe the amazing azure color of the ocean and feel the motion of the water.

One of my favorite memories is that several times when snorkeling/swimming along with pods of 12-15 dolphins, varying numbers would be in front of me and then suddenly, gently, from behind and below there would be 5-8 dolphins that would come up surrounding me, within an arms length, eye to eye. The sounds of the dolphins, I have heard them on film, recording etc. but hearing it first hand under water with them was amazing. One little juvenile spotted dolphin was very playful, darting in and around us.

Another amazing experience was a juvenile nurse shark that was for some reason staying on the surface. After watching for a bit, we got in the water with it. It kept circling back and around us, at one point swam right alongside so I could feel the roughness of its surface against me.  -LB


Hi Joe, I am still marveling at our Bimini trip especially as I share it with friends and family and realize how special it was. Here is a testimonial: I went to Bimini with my sister and spent the week with Joe. The trip was truly memorable. Within 2 hours of arriving Sunday we were in the water and swimming with a juvenile nurse shark. The sharks skin was like old rough sandpaper as he wrapped across my back in the water. We swam with spotted as well as bottle nose dolphins for days in a row – juveniles swooping in front of us and adults swimming either side and coming along underneath on their stomachs. They were unbelievably playful! Joe was a great guide, made the trip truly memorable and has a deep respect for the sea and all its creatures. Being a smaller venue – just my sister and me in his boat – we were able to be nimble and go where the action was. In addition we explored the reefs, went spear fishing – caught a grouper for supper one night and explored the underwater Bimini road. The accommodations were great and it was wonderful to be in the village with the local Bimini folks and enjoy a different culture. Joe showed us around the island and we enjoyed the local foods and life. I would recommend this trip and plan on returning. -EB

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