|The Dream Team,
Wild Dolphin Adventures and Scuba Diving in the Bahamas.
Captain Scott Smith has been interacting with and recording the
behaviors of the Atlantic Spotted dolphin on the Little Bahama Bank since 1981.
As captain of the charter/research vessel, Dolphin Dream, he spends over 30
weeks a year in the Bahamas with his dolphin friends.
Scott first encountered wild dolphins as a boy while fishing with his father in the Indian River near Cape Canaveral. Bottlenose dolphin would play in the boat's wake and often accompany them into the night. This began a life-long passion for the sea and its inhabitants.
As a teenager, Scott began working with his family in their liveaboard dive boat business. It was during this time he first swam with the friendly and curious Spotted dolphin of the Little Bahama Bank.
Between dives, passengers would occasionally swim with the Spotted dolphin as a diversion, and interest grew from there. Salvage divers had first encountered this resident group of dolphin while working treasure wrecks in the area.
In 1986 Scott became captain of
the 65 ft. Dream Too. By this
time the focus had shifted from diving to dolphin encounters and the
human/dolphin relationship began to flourish. Scott didn't initially view them
as research subjects; he started to build a relationship centered around play
and trust. As he began to recognize individual dolphins with distinct
personalities, he started naming them and compiling an identification catalog.
Over time, Scott cemented a unique bond with these dolphin. Two generations of
them have literally grown up with Scott, allowing him to observe wild dolphin
behavior that has never before been seen.
Scott has identified and keeps track of over 100 individual Spotted dolphin, about 30 of which he can recognize on sight. Since the number of spots per animal incresases with age, he must continually update his I.D. catalog. Photographs are taken of both sides of each dolphin, then logged into a database. A detailed record of each encounter is also maintained. Scott is an accomplished underwater photographer and videographer, and his relationship with the dolphin has enabled him to document a comprehensive range of behaviors.
Scott and the Dream Too have played host to visitors from around the world including feature film crews, National Geographic, The Cousteau Society, and many of the world's top underwater photographers. Scott has been featured in a on-hour documentary for Japanese television, educational videos, and the subject of books and magazines worldwide.
© Wayne Scott Smith, The Dream Team inc.,- all rights reserved.