Call him ‘Flipper’

A few lucky boaters in Penn Cove got quite the show when a common dolphin was spotted splashing in the afternoon on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Common dolphins are not native to Puget Sound. They prefer warmer climates like California. However, a couple of pods came up to Washington in the summer of 2016 and one pod decided to stay, said Alisa Lemire Brooks of the Orca Network. Lemire Brooks coordinates whale and other marine mammal sightings for the network.

The dolphin seen in Penn Cove is a male named Cinco. He has been seen with two other dolphins before in south Puget Sound but recently was spotted alone further north, she said.

“He was so playful,” Thom Vader said.

Vader said he and his wife, Rhonda Maynor, jumped in their boat after a neighbor told them about the creature. Vader said they saw the dolphin swimming and jumping alongside their boat for a while and “one of them seemed to be intentionally splashing Rhonda.”

Despite being soaked, Maynor managed to snap a few pictures of the playful creature. “It was so clear you could see him under the water,” Maynor said.

The couple said they have never seen dolphins during the 40 years they have lived in their house near the Captain Whidbey.

“It’s been a great summer for marine mammals,” Vader said, adding that he’s seen transient orcas twice and harbor porpoise. Vader said the dolphin seemed interested in the mussel floats at Penn Cove Shellfish.

Tim Jones, operations manager at Penn Cove Shellfish, said he and his crew also saw the dolphin.

“I’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never seen a dolphin in this cove,” said Jones.

He was on the beach when a neighbor told him and the crew about the sight. He thought it must have been Dall’s porpoise, which are common to the area, when he first heard the news. Jones said the dolphin was following boats back and forth and jumping out of the water.

“It was like an episode of ‘Flipper,’” Jones said.

More in News

New Langley tent initiative covers restaurants

The island’s realtors sponsored heated tents so Langley restaurants can continue outdoor seating.

Man with criminal history accused of threat, assault

The man is facing charges for threatening a post office employee, and spitting in an officer’s face.

Shop for a cause this weekend in Freeland

All proceeds from the garage sale will be donated.

Recent COVID-19 bump is ‘still very manageable’

Some of the most recent cases have been family clusters.

South Whidbey Schools Foundation says it was stiffed on fundraiser proceeds

The foundation says it raised $7,000 in ticket sales but hasn’t received the money.

Oak Harbor 2020 sales taxes ‘on par’ with previous year

Although some sectors have decreased, remote sellers saw a 40 percent jump in sales taxes this year.

The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system flies over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., during a flight test activity in June. Though the Northrop Grumman aircraft won’t be landing at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Capt. Matt Arny said its mission will be run from the base. Photo by Alan Radecki.
NAS Whidbey ready to support unmanned aircraft

Base commander talks growth, future projects

Mr. South Whidbey postponed, remembrance event in its place

Mr. South Whidbey won’t return to the stage until 2021.

Siding of South Whidbey home scorched by small fire Thursday

The homeowner threw a cigarette butt into a wastebasket. It caught on fire.

Most Read