Katy dances with the Rangiroa dolphins. Polynesia, October 2012.
Katy dances with the Rangiroa dolphins. Polynesia, October 2012.

Rangiroa Dolphins

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

In Rangiroa, Polynesia, dolphins love to play underwater with divers! Video demonstration in the Tiputa pass.

Immersion in the Tiputa pass

Too bad for the timeline, I tell you this little Relaxed stay-diving in French Polynesia in no particular order... I just put together a nice underwater video that I'm dying to share!

It's happening at Rangiroain the archipelago of Tuamotu. It is a huge atoll, whose lagoon forms a real inland sea: 80 km long, 32 km wide. You can never see the end of it!

The Motu (small coral island), where the tourist activity is concentrated, is surrounded by two passes, Avatoru and Tiputa, famous in the small world of divers... And for good reason. I can't resist the pleasure of showing you what happens, under the surface, when you "innocently" get into the water to blow bubbles in Tiputa:

Dolphins players

If the dolphins are in a playful mood, they immediately come and twirl around the divers... We hear them announce themselves by whistling. We widen our eyes behind the mask, to distinguish something in the blue. And suddenly, they are there!

They dance and whirl around, passing from one diver to another, not shy at all, not hesitating to brush you. We can see, in my little video, how I have difficulties to follow and to keep in the lens one of these dolphins which turns around me... I end up filming my fins!

Of course, it is recommended not to touch the dolphins. But they are so familiar and they come so close, almost in contact, that many divers find it difficult to resist the reflex of reaching out to caress them in passing ...

Katy, from the excellent center Y Aka DivingIn Rangiroa, he explains that there is no point in paddling behind them or trying to approach them. They are the ones who decide and come to us. If they choose to do so, we avoid direct contact, but we can make gestures underwater and imitate their swimming, to stimulate them, to show them that we are in a playful mood too, and to encourage them to stay...

It is her, with the yellow flippers, in the video, who performs a whole aquatic ballet with the dolphins!

Katy dances with the Rangiroa dolphins. Polynesia, October 2012.
Katy dances with the Rangiroa dolphins. (Polynesia, October 2012)

Thank you, Katy, for these incredible moments !!!

Another video to (re) discover ...

If you like this kind of encounter with dolphins, I invite you to watch another small video, which I made in Egypt, in October 2011. It was during a snorkeling trip in the Red Sea, in the Sataya Bay:

Red Sea - Dance with dolphins

Dolphins. Sataya, Egypt. December 2011.

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

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  1. Arf you were lucky to see them!
    I missed them three days in a row ! 😥
    it is true that it is a happiness to dive with Katy, she even succeeded in making my wife dive (it was really not won !!)
    Did you also have the chance to cross the hammers?

    That's it, I want to go back !!! 😥 😛

    1. @Julien: the dolphins came from my first dive, the first day, then to the second the same day! The following days, we have seen them again, but less, or more quickly. In short, a dolphin festival, during my stay there!

      No hammerheads, no, but the other sharks were there... And then some mantas too!!! But from a little far...

      As for Katy, she succeeded in making a friend of mine dive, with whom I had come, and who was not particularly reassured by the idea of breathing in a regulator, after a first baptism not really successful in Thailand. To read on her blog:

      Here, I want to go back, too!!!! 😡

  2. Hello Corinne,

    It's when we attack these fall and winter seasons that the desire to leave is the strongest!
    So we continue to play the Euromillions and we drown in this type of report and say to ourselves "it's already that! (Souchon). I have always seen dolphins on the surface but never underneath! What a foot....


    1. @Eric: here's an idea... I'm going to play EuroMillions, you never know, it could finance a next visit to the dolphins... 😉
      (What a foot, yes, that's nothing to say!!!)

    1. @Julien: there, we also see them very often from the boats. When we enter the pass, we surf on the waves in Zodiac and we see the dolphins playing all around, it's really incredible.
      To see them underwater, you either have to be lucky or dive on sites where you know there are resident dolphins.

  3. We all have the fantasy of touching Oum the dolphin! ; D
    It is superb, it looks like they are dancing a ballet!

    But I wonder... aren't the dolphins just "over-stimulated" with all these humans coming to see them?

    1. @Melissa: I am not a specialist and have not spent enough time in Rangiroa to have an objective view of things.
      From what I could see, the diving centers there are rather concerned about the well-being of the dolphins and try to be careful not to disturb them. As I said before, it is the dolphins that choose or not to come and meet the divers. There is no feeding or anything special to attract or stimulate them. People get into the water, but there is no guarantee that the dolphins will come. Dolphins live more in the open sea, in the blue.

    1. @Fabrice: yes, you saw, the paint is fresh... 😉 My Little Bubbles are still in the middle of a makeover, there are still a lot of little things to polish, but the main part is operational.

      Thank you for your little word on the video. Yes, I wish you with all my heart to have the chance to live this kind of underwater encounter. Latin America, since you spend a lot of time there, does not lack beautiful diving destinations...

  4. Hello,

    I worked two years on rangi, and without being a specialist of dolphins and animal behaviors, I think Melissa is right: no quota in the tiputa pass, the divers imposed their presence, and stimulated the tursiops by swimming games. It is indeed impossible to touch them if they don't want to, but for all that, going to them every day for 20 years and stimulating them by exciting them on their territory has modified their behavior. As a proof, in 2008 they were untouchable, and some unscrupulous providers (I am sure that it is not the case of Katy, very ecological) like to caress them... The goal?

    Sites in Egypt, off the coast of El Gouna, allow the same type of encounters, at a more reasonable price. And without interactions, as Egyptians are very strict about the preservation of species and fauna.

    1. @AtollDiver: I am not a specialist either, and I was only a simple customer diver, for a few days, in Rangiroa...

      But your remarks are very accurate. No quota, permanent attendance for 20 years: it necessarily has an influence on animals.

      For my part, in Egypt, I had the chance to snorkel with the dolphins in Sataya Bay. Extraordinary! There too, the dolphins came very close. But we only stayed a few minutes in the water. And I think that snorkeling was not allowed on the site itself.

  5. I had the chance to see dolphins in Martinique and Mauritius, but the most magical moment is without any doubt when they came to swim with us during a dive in Guadeloupe, I loved it... But I don't have any pictures to remember it unfortunately... Great pictures, thanks!

  6. Hi, it's wonderful what you've been through!
    I'm getting ready to do it soon 😉
    How deep were you able to see the dolphins?