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Dolphin Respect and Etiquette

Dolphin Respect and Etiquette


dolphin_4Dolphins are magnificent highly conscious and intelligent beings.  They are one of the most miraculous, playful, joyful, and loving creatures on this planet. They have the ability to induce humans into a higher state of vibration, reminding us to connect with our joy, humour, and playfulness.

Those who connect with the Dolphins are graced with deeply moving experiences and heightened states of consciousness to PURE BLISS.

Research has found that 80% of people who swim with dolphins experience changes in their brain wave patterns.  Their consciousness goes from beta to theta states.  This may explain why, when connecting with the dolphins, people experience profound joy, peace, and incredible states of Bliss.  It is found that even listening to recordings of these amazing beings provides the opportunity to be taken on a journey to other dimensional realities and experience spiritual interactions.

There have been many who have experienced not only a feeling of well-being, but also the phenomenon that has been occurring is that many have experienced the dolphin’s ability to transmit healing energies.  Dolphin sonar is 4 times more powerful than the ultrasound that is used in medical diagnostics.  It is thought to be able to alter the structure of cells.

We must treat these friends with utmost respect and consideration.  All dolphins deserve our love and respect.  I do NOT condone dolphins in captivity.  These are often dolphins that have been brutally taken from their pods and families.  There are occasions when these are rescued dolphins, but my understanding is that more often than not, they are trapped dolphins.


The dolphins we connect with are wild dolphins.  Before entering the water to swim, there must be an understanding of dolphin etiquette and respect.  When you are fully prepared, the wonder is that the wild dolphins make a clear and conscious choice to join you in an intimate and delightful experience.

Communing with our delightful friends the dolphins, are shared many ways.  It is not always necessary to come to the ocean.  You can tune into their energies with your heart and imagination.

The Dolphins we interact with are mostly the Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins although the Spotted and Bottlenose Dolphins are occasionally sighted.

The Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins are 5 to 7 feet long and weigh approximately 130 to 200 pounds.  They have a long slim snout and have a three-tone pattern.  They live along the coastal waters of Hawaii feeding at night in deep channels off shore and come into small bays to rest and to play.

How blessed we are as humans, to experience inter species communication and connections with these beloved beings.  Dolphins are very loving and playful.  They come into secluded bays to nurture their young and also to rest.


I often see what I call nursery pods,  where mothers, their young, and injured dolphins swim slowly and stay in small pods.  These are then guarded by a few protector dolphins.  The pod moves slowly, come to the surface for air and immediately go back down into deeper water.

Their rest times are often from 10:30am to 2:30pm.  This is not a recommended time to go out to swim with them.  We usually rise with the sun and observe, honour, respect and recognize their behavior when in ‘rest mode’ so that we do not disturb them.  When resting, the pod moves slowly, coming together to the surface briefly for air and returning together in long slow dives  back down.  It is at this time they can easily be startled and will not be interested in interacting with you.  When we see this it is important not to disturb them.  It is okay to float on the surface, stay calm, and not dive down or try to overhand swim or attempt to follow them.  They need their rest!


When in a playful mood, they move about much quicker, interacting and chasing each other.  It is at this time they will often initiate human contact.  The spinners get their name by the way they spin and leap into the air.  They can be seen from a distance and you may notice they swim in large circles.  If they want to connect with you, they will.  The circle may come closer to you and when they are really close you can actually look into their eyes, which are on the sides of their heads.  Often you will hear them as they become more vocal.  Their vocal expressions include pulsing, chirping, clicking, and toned whistles.


It is important not to rush into the water. Before going in, allow yourself time to pause, and say Aloha and Mahalo to the essence of the Hawaiian Islands.  Center, and take in the beauty of your surroundings.  In addition to being aware of your physical safety, allow also for a metaphysical understanding of working with the element of the Goddess ‘Kai’ – the element of water.  Tune into your heart and FEEL love and gratitude.


Once centered, take your time and slowly enter the water with a buddy.  It is easy to get excited when seeing the dolphins. Remember we are entering their home and visiting with their community.  If you are with a group of friends, show respect, and be kind.  Do not all converge at the beach or enter the water at once.  Separate your group into small ‘pods’ preferably no more than 2 to 4 in a group and give each group time to move into the water, waiting for a few minutes before the next group enters.  Then slowly and with respect, enter with your pod.    Just being in the water is relaxing and healing.  Never use hard, aggressive crawl strokes, as they are often too forceful for interactions.  Relax your body, let your body float, and take the time to feel your tension leave so that when you do enter their space you have calmed and opened to joy.


Be mindful of your personal safety.  Observe the conditions of the ocean, the waves, the weather, the condition of the beach and if the dolphins are out too far.  If the waves are too high, the water is too rough or there are adverse weather conditions, do not go in.  Observe also, where it is safe to enter and exit the water.  What are the tidal conditions and what is the lava rock like?  Watch if the waves are too high and if there is a safe place to enter and return from the ocean without being thrown into the lava rock.  Notice if the dolphins are too far out and if you are feeling nervous or unsafe, then – Don’t go.  If you do decide to swim, it is always recommended, at any time that you swim with a buddy.


NEVER chase or follow the dolphins. If you find you are looking at their tails and swimming after them you are no longer swimming ‘with’ them you are chasing them, and this is not appropriate.  If they want to interact with you, and they often do, they will come to you.  Be gentle and observe them.  We will often ‘play’ with each other and connect to the child within.  The dolphins will see you by the light your joy will radiate from you.  You may even want to imagine you are a dolphin returning to be with your friends.  Observe how they swim and see if you can swim like they do.  Send them love and beams of light. Remember, they swim in large circles, so give them space, stay put, and if they want to be with you they will.


When you do swim, again remember not to swim with overhand strokes but instead keep your arms and hands to your sides or even loosely behind your back.  Never reach out to touch them!  Just like we humans, they do not always like to be touched or have company.  If they want to touch you, they will.  Observe how they swim and see if you can do the same.  Imagine yourself as a powerful, sleek, free dolphin.  Connect to this feeling and imagine a dolphin friend swimming beside you and pacing you.  Remember to play.


Remember to be respectful of another person’s interaction with the dolphins, if they are having a connection, give them space and don’t intrude.  Watch where you are going and do not cut another swimmer off.


If you are kayaking, do not chase the dolphins!  It is okay to watch from your kayak, remembering they do swim in large circles and may swim right by you.  Watch out for other swimmers.  If you choose to go into the water to swim, it is not respectful to tow your kayak behind you while swimming with the dolphins.


Words cannot express the Joy and Bliss I have felt when interacting with my friends, the dolphins. 

Mahalo for letting me share these messages with you.  May we all experience peace love and harmony with all life,



The following is the official dolphin swim guide:

  1. Let the pod approach you.
    Center yourself and get calm. If you are overly excited, focus on your breathing as you swim out. Stop and wait for the pod to come to you, then you’ll really know they want your company.
  2. Watch your arm movements.
    Keep your arms at your side as you swim.  Sudden arm movements seem to startle them.
  3. Splash as little as possible.
    Splashing seems to annoy them unless the game of the moment includes some form of splashing, like tail slapping or spinning.
  4. Be aware of the pods’ behavior.
    Dolphins have their moods just like we do. Sometimes they are sociable and sometimes they are not. Respect their space and feelings.
  5. Take your cues from their behavior.
    Dolphins communicate with body language, distance, depth, and telepathy. If you can’t communicate telepathically, it’s okay; the first three are very obvious.
  6. If they want to touch you they will.
    No one appreciates being grabbed at and dolphins are no exception. If you want to experience being touched by a dolphin, let go of your expectations and open your heart.
  7. Honor your own timing.
    Many times there are a few dolphins and many people. If they’ve given you quality time and have turned to someone else, honor that and thank them for the time you’ve had.
  8. Honor intimacy.
    If you see someone swimming alone in an intimate conversation with dolphins, don’t interrupt. It’s as rude in water as it is on land.
  9. Be polite to other swimmers.
    Watch out for other people in the water. Look where you’re going. Try not to cut others off in your eagerness to get close.
  10. Lighten up, have fun.
    If you go out expecting a heavy spiritual experience, it might happen. But if you go out for fun, you’ll probably leave the water feeling more joyful and centered than you ever have.
Use common sense.
Use your heart and think smart. Treat these intelligent beings with the respect they deserve and you’ll have a wonderful experience.

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