This six-minute audio excerpt showcases a dramatic interaction that ebbed and flowed over an entire day's time in September of 2001. The Pacific white sided dolphins you hear crackling, clicking, stretching, and whistling were members of a pod of up to 300 animals gathered in Queen Charlotte Strait, off Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. They gather here to feed on the vast herring and eulachon schools of late summer.
The guitarist is Jim Nollman, working on the research vessel, Shelmar operated by videographer Bob Wood. The dolphins were accompanied by three humpback whales, as well as a band of Stellar sea lions that occasionally drew close to listen to the interaction.
This recording has been edited, albeit slightly, and only to include the best of several interactions that occurred over 6 hours of recording. We used a bit of crossfading, equalization and gain balancing to make the piece sound like a contiguous whole.
Otherwise, the recording you hear remains accurate to the realtime interaction that occurred that day. Several times, members of the pod drew so close the boat, that they could be seen vocalizing right at the speaker, striking the hydrophone in the process. We'll eventually place some streaming video of the dolphins circling the speaker up on this page to accompany the sound.
This .mp3 file is over 3 megabytes, so give it a while to download.