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PICTURES: Nairn rowers delighted by special dolphin playtime

By Federica Stefani

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Nairn Rowing Club enjoyed the encounter. Pictures: Neil Buxton.
Nairn Rowing Club enjoyed the encounter. Pictures: Neil Buxton.

A spell of sunshine in the dreich July weather saw a happy encounter for members of the Nairn Coastal Rowing Club.

During their outing on Monday (July 8) afternoon, the skiff was surrounded by a group of around five dolphins, who approached and followed the team.

Club member Matt Reynolds, who was coxing on the day, described the encounter.

Pictures: Neil Buxton.
Pictures: Neil Buxton.

He said: “The dolphins are regular visitors to Nairn in summer and it's a real privilege to be on the water with them and share their space.

“On this occasion, there was a pod of around five individuals, including a calf.

“We stopped the boat a good distance away and allowed the dolphins to come to us if they wanted to.

“They're such intelligent and inquisitive animals that they came to check us out and were all around the boat at one point, which was a really amazing experience to see these wild animals close up in their natural environment. When we moved off they came with us and were swimming alongside the boat for a short time, seemingly just being playful.

“Coastal rowing is a great accessible way to get out on our seas and see some of our wildlife close up.”

Pictures: Neil Buxton.
Pictures: Neil Buxton.

The team was lucky as local photographer and wildlife enthusiast Neil Buxton captured the moment from Nairn pier.

He said: “The crew of the skiff set out for a normal row and upon leaving the river spotted dolphin activity. They didn't approach but did go "oars up" as the dolphins were close by.

“As the skiff set off again, some of the dolphin pod followed. They did seem to be in a boisterous, inquisitive mood that day. The pod had been interested in a kayak and a rib too.

“The skiff crew were loving it and there was an opportunity for a mobile phone camera shot or two.

Pictures: Neil Buxton.
Pictures: Neil Buxton.

“At least two of the pod, Kenobi and her calf Jedi, are regular visitors to Nairn.

“Dolphins are regular at Nairn. I've seen them a couple of dozen times since spring. Sometimes passing through, sometimes posturing, sometimes full of high spirits and of course - feeding.”

Last year watersport lovers in Nairn were blessed by an exceptional number of basking sharks in the waters near Nairn.

Pictures: Neil Buxton.
Pictures: Neil Buxton.

Mr Buxton added: “I don't consider myself a photographer by comparison to folks who know cameras inside out.

“I'm out and about all the time, always carry a camera and like to capture memories. I generally share some shots on FB for folks who aren't able to get out such as the elderly, infirm, or working folks with families as well as friends back down south who like to know what we're up to.”

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