The Dingle Dolphin
The town of Dingle is known for fishing, beautiful landscape, music...and a dolphin named Fungie.(pronounced fun-ghee) No one seems to know why he's there or how he actually got his name, but for the 20 years he's lived off the coast of the Dingle Peninsula he's become a rock star of sorts. He's a big part of their tourism. And of course I wanted to see him for myself.
To say it's a long drive would be quite an understatement. And the anticipation of seeing him grew with the miles to get there. So after checking into the Dingle Pub B&B (which seriously looks like something from a movie set) I went in search of the boats that take you to Fungie's playground just a few miles offshore.
There are two tour companies running boats to see the dolphin. Each boat carries about 50 people out every hour or so. And remember this is to see a dolphin. "A" dolphin. Not a pod or even a few; but one lone dolphin who chooses to live there. They say he hangs around near the fishing boats, which does make sense. And they say no one feeds him, to keep him hanging around. And there is plenty in the waters for him to eat. But what he appears to love it playing with the boats.
Fungie is big for a Bottle-nose dolphin.I would have thought he'd shy away from the noise of the boats, but he swims along side them and leaps in the air to show off. I have to say he really seemed to enjoy the small sailboats about the bay. Maybe it's because they are more his size and seem more his type, silently gliding through the water. While I can't say that for sure I can say that seeing him was well worth the trip!