Dolphin charged at my kayak

Ok very new to florida wildlife and kayaking. A dolphin charged at my kayak but stopped right in front of me and scared the the living hell outta me. Did he want to play or get me out of his territory? Any other advice on Fl wildlife cause now im scared to go out by myself.

more please
It stopped as in head up facing you or diving down or going along side you? I’m in California with lots of dolphin that have so far been very friendly (they head my way out of curiosity often, but never a threat). So I’m curious if he really charged you or just headed over to check you out. I suppose a protective or just plain rare crazy one could be a threat.

Never seen one "charge"
but it likely had no fear of you due to close and repeated contact with people - so accustomed to people trying to get close to it, touch it, feed it, etc. Especially in FL. Gotta have that personal moment of zen.

Dolphins are naturally playful and curious, but even THEY have predators. Man should certainly be regarded as one of them, but unfortunately we are not, to their detriment.

I wouldn’t worry about too much else as long as you keep a healthy distance from wildlife, enjoy looking but don’t approach. Definitely don’t touch or feed. Good general guidelines.

If it’s any consolation, I doubt he would be able to get his mouth open wide anough to take off a leg :).

Dolphins are very dosile…
Take the flying tigers decal off your boat!! The attack sharks!

Seriously though, quit being afraid of everything that goes bump in the night.

Paddle easy,


Launder your stuff. You smelled like
a female dolphin in heat.

I’ve had a couple rise and act as though
… they didn’t really want me trying to keep up with their feeding formation. At least that’s how I interpreted it. I complied and left them alone.

Dolphins, gators and bobcats, oh my
Odds are he/she was just playing or coming over to check you out. I’ve had dolphins do similar things, divert from play or from their pod to come over to my kayak. Most are probably coming over to see if you’ll toss them some food or are just curious.

I’ve read of 1 incident of a dolphin killing a guy. He was drunk and basically was persistently trying to grab the dolphin. And there have been a few incidents of people getting bit by trying to pet a wild dolphin or of dolphins trying to get frisky with people(usually women divers).

There’s really no wildlife in Florida that’s all that threatening to humans. Most everything is scared of humans, maybe mildly curious, and is only really dangerous if startled or harassed.

You just gotta respect whatever you run into, give it some space, remember you’re in their home, and enjoy that you get to see these things in the wild.

dolphin experience
i was sailing downwind on my hobie 14, doing 10+ kn in the seabreeze. a dolphin came up under my boat and swam along with me. he was so effortless- he seemed to be surfing the converging wakes between my two hulls. we cruised together for what seemed like a minute or more. then the dolphin dropped down out of sight. i headed for the nearest shellbank and sat in awe of what i had just seen

large pod fun
one of my cooler encounters was seeing a large pod cutting a path perpendicular to ours a few hundred yards away. They then turned and cut right through our group like stampeding horses with white water instead of dust. They pasted within feet on either side of us, but despite the hundreds of dolphin all together not one actually touched a kayak.

Another time I saw one ahead of me suddenly dive. I looked to spot where it would come up next and saw it a few feet off and maybe six feet below me partly on its side giving a curious eye.

We see them every day out in the Spring. Seems a bit less often now in the Summer.

Always fun!

you may have…
been in the path of its feeding and didn’t notice you until it was right on you. And contrary to a previous post, dolphins are anything but docile. They are fierce predators that move like torpedoes through the water ganging up on schools of fish. If you are fortunate enough, you will get to see their awesome display.

Consider yourself lucky

– Last Updated: Jul-22-09 1:54 PM EST –

it was introducing itself to you , and saying hello.

Three or fours years ago on my birthday, I had two of them do the same thing, but I sat there astounded as they both simultaniously did a flip and a somersault.

You couldn't ask for a better birthday present than that.


they were trying to say…
“so long and thanks for all the fish” – Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

No danger
Dolphins aren’t aggressive towards humans by nature.

I’ve paddled next to everything from Harbor Porpoises to Blue Whales, and have never felt threatened. Awestuck, yes, but no feelings of danger. And never given any reason to feel danger, either.

You had a cool encounter. Feel priviledged!

There can be DANGER in some cases
Wild marine animals are not flipper.

Here is some scientific knowledge on this.

No, it is never safe to swim with wild oceanic mammals, despite their lovable and friendly demeanor that you see in water parks, such as Sea World. The animals you see in water parks and Aquariums are trained and spend their lives in captivity, exposed to humans regularly. When these animals are in the wild, it is a completely different story.

Dolphins are naturally curious and playful animals, and will not outright attack humans. If anything, they will be curious as to this new animal in their pod, and will probably avoid a person that swims near them. In some areas of the world, namely the Caribbean, wild dolphins will often freely swim up to people and interact with them. However, these are not naturally common behaviors among dolphins. If a dolphin perceives a human as a threat, then the consequences could be life-threatening. A curious, painless bump may be the initial investigation, and if the dolphin decides it doesn’t like you, it will probably swim away. If you pursue or harass a dolphin however, you may be in for a bad day. Dolphins have been known to kill sharks by ramming them with their heads (most notably the long snout) at tremendous speed. Needless to say, one well placed ram and you’ll be dead…at the speed which dolphins move, an attack ram could break many bones in one strike, causing life threatening injury or death. It is not advisable to swim amongst dolphins, unless the locals or an instructor says it is safe. Needless to say swimming with them in the open ocean is a very bad idea, since dolphins are the last thing you’ll have to worry about.

The same goes for seals. Seals are not quite as playful as dolphins, and when approached by a human, they will be more likely to retreat. Though not aggressive, there have been instances where seals have bitten divers and swimmers who have gotten too close, particularly if they tried to touch or grab them. Seals are essentially like aquatic dogs…they are ‘cute and cuddly’ and may be curious and playful with a human. However, caution should always be observed, since seals can grow very large, and if they feel threatened, they may attack by ramming and biting, particularly if there are pups around.

Finally, there is another reason you shouldn’t swim with these animals…when you are swimming with them, you will appear to look like one of them. That is inviting, as usual, a shark attack. Dolphins and especially Seals are natural prey of sharks. If you were to dare swim with these animals, you are risking your life. In fact, you may be more of an open target than the seals and dolphins would be, since humans, when they swim, are more erratic and give off more detectable waves of energy when they swim, which resemble a fish, or in this case, a dolphin or seal in distress. This past summer in 2003, in the United States, a woman was killed by a Great White Shark off the California coastline while she was swimming with Seals. Obviously, the commotion caused by patterns of human swimming drew the shark to her more than the seals, because to the shark she appeared to be in distress. It is never advisable to swim in an area where seals congregate, which is usually large rocks along coastline, jutting out of water that can be anywhere from 5 to 25 feet deep. These are prime hunting grounds for sharks. Even Orcas, or ‘Killer Whales’, which normally feed on seals, may mistake a human being for a seal and attack. A person would be more likely to survive a shark attack than an Orca attack, simply because Orcas have such tremendous biting power in their jaws, and their heavily muscular bodies allow them to propel themselves at lightning speed underwater, and if you were unfortunate enough to be in the path of an Orca, you would probably not survive. However, you would be more likely to be attacked by a shark in these cases. If you feel the need to swim with dolphins and seals, ask yoir local Fisheries coordinator if there are any programs like that around. Typically, the best place to do this is in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States, the Caribbean, and some other countries. NEVER do this in the open ocean, or in an area where it is not designated that you can do so.

Birds of prey
I have been threatened while kayaking by what I believe were two juvenile bald eagles. Birds of prey can be territorial, and bald eagles have been known to attack humans rather viciously. Don’t get too close. An attack could land you in the water.

He wanted to eat you.

There is no “best place” in the U.S. to “swim with” dolphins, seals, or any other wild marine mammals because it’s illegal. People do it in the Caribbean, Mexico, and in non-U.S. waters, but that doesn’t make it OK.

kayaking with dolphins
Sounds like an interesting encounter. Most cetaceans are usually ‘friendly or curious’ and I don’t think you have to fear them. It’s the sharks and people I’d worry about - Ha!

check this out:


i thought so too but not
i had the same idea about curious and friendly but a marine biologist in Seattle straightened me out. Dolphins are not flipper. They are predators, powerful, territorial. True, they usually do not choose us as food, but if starved they will bite. If defending territory they can bump, bite, or maim.

I am only saying this here to share my own amazement at my “humanizing” them, much like we do dogs.

tis true