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Dolphin Spirit Blog

Dolphin and Marine Wildlife Boat Trips from Inverness Marina

2017 Season’s Spectacles!

An Otter-view

Overall, the 2017 season can be summed up in one word; unpredictable. Whether it was June or September, we could never really tell what we were going to encounter day to day aboard our boats. We had a few surprises, a few frights, and some amazing sightings in-between, all of which will be spoken about in great detail below! If you didn’t get to enjoy the stories the first time around, or weren’t there to see it yourselves, now’s your chance to see what you missed out on!

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Meet the Team - Gwyn

Last but not Least!

And rounding off our Meet the Team showcase is the last of our skippers, Gwyn! Of all the skippers across both boats, it is highly likely that Gwyn is the most experienced of them all; an instructor for all kinds of vessels, a courier for boat owners, and captain of our gracious Dolphin Spirit! Gwyn is also very well acquainted with the dolphins and their adoring public; living in Rosemarkie his wife also runs the Rosemarkie Beach Cafe, a natural tourist draw for the dolphins and the ice cream (on those hard to come by, but oh so glorious, sunny days)! He isn't one of our truly full-time skippers, but with his experience and warm personality, Gwyn is sure to make every trip memorable for passengers, young or old! One thing about Gwyn is that his timings are always on point, and he doesn't do late! So if you have places to be, be sure that Gwyn will make sure you get there!

Skills That Pay the Bills!

Gwyn has been out on the water for longer than most of our guiding crew have been alive! When he's not being the skipper at the helm aboard the Dolphin Spirit, he's giving sound advice to make sure she runs well, properly, and safely. Gwyn was the man behind the safety briefing, the adviser for many of our safety procedures, and the trainer for the crew during our yearly safety drill refresher! He also helped some of our other skippers through the boatmaster's licence; a job he does privately too! If you've ever had a question about boats or boating, Gwyn quite likely has the answer! When he's not around Dolphin Spirit at all, Gwyn is occasionally away instructing others to sail or even appearing on camera! He has had the pleasure of skippering some really impressive vessels in his time, from barges to cruisers, I'm sure there's very few vessels that Gwyn hasn't driven! What we can say is there is one boat that we see a fair bit in the summer that Gwyn is itching to try; the Vic 32! You may recall Vic from a previous blog post, but if you don't, the Vic 32 is one of the last Clyde puffer boats in existence. She sails around the west coast and through the Caledonian Canal in summer, so we often get to see her meandering her way down the Moray Firth! As a rare boat, it's something that I'm sure any skipper, not just Gwyn, would be keen to have a go of!

So think up your biggest boating question for your next Dolphin Spirit cruise, and keep your fingers crossed for skipper Gwyn! He's certainly the brain to pick for all things boat here! And if you're not in to boats all that much, you'll still get to enjoy a great and comfortable trip with him behind the wheel!

Meet the Team - George

A Master in his Field

Keeping on the theme of Mischief skippers, we come on to the last, but certainly not the least, George! Everything going on here with Dolphin Mischief is essentially old hat for George, who has been out on the Moray Firth for 25 years! George's strengths as a skipper are not just in his excellent handling of the RIB, but also in his extensive marine knowledge. He's a keen diver, and used to dive for the Highland Council, surveying the firth, undertaking conservation projects, and even doing diving boat surveys privately! Out of all the team, George has probably come closest to our dolphins, having encountered them on dives before too. According to him, these big show-offs are actually incredibly shy once you're in their domain, and prefer to keep a distance. They will, however, ogle you incessantly until they know what you're up to! While George's main marine biology passion was in the slightly smaller aquatic life of the firth (namely nudibranchs, or sea-slugs, which he wrote a book on!), he's still incredibly excitable when it comes to encountering our bottlenoses out near Chanonry.

Oh The Places You'll Go...

George is a fascinating character, and incredibly enthusiastic about the Moray Firth and all the secrets it holds. Incidentally, George himself discovered one of these many secrets along with a few diving buddies while exploring the waters off Cromarty; a sunken submarine! The sub in question had actually gone missing from its original position, called locally as The Barge, decades prior to George discovering it. He was aiding in the recovery of a net which had entangled on something near the sandy depths, when they discovered that the net was not attached to The Barge wreck as described, but in fact the missing submarine Tantivy! Selflessly, George and co. went on to inform the MoD of their discovery and sought to buy the wreck in effort to preserve it. Many divers have since been down to see the submarine and enjoy the microhabitat it has now created for soft corals and fish, so it's just as well that it was George that found it!

George is full of exciting tales; perhaps his next book should be about his own adventures! Go on an adventure of your own with George and learn the secrets of the firth when you book aboard Dolphin Mischief!

Meet the Team - John

From Sailboats to RIBs!

Moving on with the Meet the Team segment of the blog, we come to another of the Mischief skippers, John! Some of the more boaty folk around the marina and in the sailing community may already be familiar with John, as he headed up his own sail school before joining us! Since coming aboard Mischief, John has found himself going from teacher to student, but it won't be over-long until he's back top of the class again! He's a superb and capable skipper, and is also very communicative about what they see on the trips. He's full of questions too, always on the look out for interesting sightings and wondering what the behaviour of the dolphins means. He's taken his behavioural studies a step further, helping him to produce the most dolphin-friendly trips possible by analysing the movements of the dolphins and how they are reacting. At Dolphin Spirit, this is exactly what we love to see from our skippers, and it's been an absolute pleasure having John with us; I'm sure the passengers are enjoying his knowledge and keen attitude too!

A Retirement Hobby

Like the rest of our Mischief crew, John took up working on the RIB as something different from the work he was doing before. John has been around boats for quite some time, so for us, it was a simple choice to ask him to come aboard and thankfully he agreed! He's made great friends with the rest of the crew, and is so proactive in the job, throwing out ideas and giving feedback where possible to help us all improve the operation. Mischief's first year is a learning curve for us all, but a curve that is all taken in stride it seems! When not on the boat, John may still be found around the marina working on his boat, or out on the water enjoying some recreational time at sea. John and our previously featured skipper Gus even took a mini-break on the West coast for some R&R and practice too! 

John will guarantee you not just a fun experience, but an educational one too! Maybe he'll be skippering you on your next Mischief experience, so why not come aboard and meet him for yourself?

Meet the Team - Gus

Full of Enthusiasm!

Continuing on with our skipper segment of the Meet the Team showcase, we're moving onto Dolphin Mischief with today's excitable skipper Gus! Out of all the Mischief skippers he is easily the newest to the gig, but he has taken it all in his stride and learned everything that was thrown at him very quickly! Not only has he become a fantastic skipper, his knowledge of the dolphins and local area's other wildlife is gaining by the day. His records in our sightings log are some of the most detailed, and you can tell that's not just down to his great memory, but his enthusiasm and love of the job and wildlife it pertains to. Gus is a man of many skills, thankfully some of which will never have to be used with us (allowing him to relax a little post-retirement!) but always come in handy when it comes to thinking outside the box and handling tough situations!

Policing the Waters

Gus, much like one of our other skippers Ken (who has now since left for another post at Caley Marina), used to be in the police force. With that kind of knowledge about him and his tall stature, some might think Gus was a bit imposing, but he's not like that at all and any passengers who have been out with him will easily attest to that! Fun, knowledgeable and warm, Gus makes every Mischief trip with him enjoyable from start to finish. Despite his relatively short time behind the wheel, Gus has become an accomplished skipper; one who is very safe out on the water but still manages to give you that white-knuckle experience as you zip down the beautiful Moray coast. Gus really likes being involved in the job too, and despite starting out quite shy, has really opened up and become a real core part of the crew. His dedication is something else, and on quiet days with no sailings for Mischief he has even joined the Dolphin Spirit to learn more from the guides and skippers there about the dolphins, the area, and how to improve his own experience with Mischief customers. It's great to see our skippers really making the job their own! Gus also takes the Dolphin Space Program really seriously, and is very conscious of the dolphins and the sensitive areas we operate in; almost like he's swapped the police force of the land for the force of the sea!

Have you been on a trip with Gus? Have you an experience to share? We'd love to hear it! Maybe you're due on the Mischief sometime soon; if Gus is your skipper, you're sure to be in for a great time!

 

Why Choose Dolphin Spirit?

Making The Right Choice

The Moray Firth has an abundance of wonderful wildlife, and an abundance of operators to take you to go and see it. When it comes down to choosing a tour operator for your next Moray Firth adventure, there's a few reasons why Dolphin Spirit may be your first choice. Between our 5-star credentials and a helpful, enthusiastic crew, here are just a few reasons why, if you haven't checked us out before, you may be missing out!

A Choice of Experience

Dolphin Spirit Inverness is unique in having two totally different vessels in our fleet; some operators may have multiple vessels but the boat of choice for most is the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat), which can make travel difficult or downright impossible for some. The Dolphin Spirit cruiser herself is the only large boat of her kind out on the firth, able to take passengers of all ages and abilities, including dogs! She also has a greater capacity for seating, with space for 65 to enjoy the trip comfortably. That being said, if you're feeling the pump of adrenaline when booking your trip, Dolphin Spirit's new RIB Mischief is also available. Able to take those fit enough and over the age of 12, Mischief is a longer trip, aimed at one of the biggest dolphin hotspots and one of the biggest seal hotspots in the firth to maximize sighting opportunities. Our vessels even sync in arrival back to the marina twice a day, meaning that should you wish to split your party, everyone can get what they want!

A Crew That Cares

Dolphin Spirit is headed up by well-trained skippers and knowledgeable guides who will help you to get the most out of every experience. Whether it's a school outing or a family birthday party, we are committed to delivering a fun, educational experience for all! We will happily take requests from passengers planning a special trip, and help cater to the requirements of even the most difficult groups. Our crew are trained on not just the wildlife, but customer care and child protection, and are approachable and friendly to all who hop aboard. We want everyone to enjoy a safe and memorable trip regardless of experience chosen. We also aim to be as eco- and animal-friendly as possible, adhering strictly to the Dolphin Space Program (DSP) to protect our dolphins and give them freedom of choice when it comes to interactions with us, recycling where possible, and supporting local causes which speak for our finned friends, such as the WDC.

Central to Inverness

For those visiting Inverness itself, we are the most central boat operator to the city; a short 20 minute walk from the city centre or 5 minute drive will get you to the marina. If it's miserable weather-wise (as it tends to be here!) we also provide a shuttle-bus service to and from the centre of Inverness for £2 per head, per way, or for a family of 4 for £6. For most using the service it's cheaper than a taxi, and will be there on time after every trip to get you back to town as soon as possible, or to your trip in a timely manner! How's that for service?

So when you're booking your next trip to the Highlands, why not consider going out with us? We would love to introduce you to our local wildlife (providing they're feeling sociable!) and to the wonderful stories hidden in the beautiful landscapes around us!  

Meet the Team - Brian

Second Super Skipper!

I know, a not very creative subtitle, but it's true! Our Meet the Team showcase continues today with our second skipper so far, Brian! Brian has been with us for the past three years as one of our main Dolphin Spirit skippers. He's a hard worker and always smiling, so our days are certainly brighter with Brian on board! When it comes to skippering, he's a dab hand at not just driving, but giving our passengers lessons too, regardless of age! He's a firm believer in everyone, and is always a bright character on the boat, and his wheelhouse door is always open! He's got keen eyes as well, and always has his binoculars at the ready; he may even give announcements of distant sightings before anyone else has even glimpsed it! Brian likes to make sure everyone knows they're in safe hands, and his safety brief is therefore more of a safety long, but he never misses anything and is super safety orientated; you couldn't be any more secure with Brian at the helm, that's for sure!

Subtly Scottish!

Don't let Brian's accent fool you - he was actually born in Elgin! A well-traveled fellow, Brian used to live "down under" back in the day, but has since returned to Scotland and his birthplace in the Highlands, where he works for us and Caley Marina down at the canal. He still retains his accent, but you might just be able to make out the Scottish undertones, giving away his heritage a bit! Brian is also incredibly knowledgeable about the local area, which gives him away a little too! Once upon a time, Brian was an occupational therapist, which certainly has helped us out a bit! Standing all day can really do a number on even our young and spirited guides, but Brian is always on hand with advice for any physical ill. He's quite the guy for jokes too, popping at least 4 into his safety brief alone and always making a few throughout the day to keep everyone grinning; passengers and colleagues alike! 

Well what can we say? Brian will certainly make sure the boat stays afloat (and not "down under"!) and will give your Dolphin Spirits a lift too! Make sure to say hello to him if he's your skipper on your next Dolphin Spirit adventure!

Meet the Team - Stuart

The Original Super Skipper!

We've been through the office, we've surveyed all the guides, all we have left are the skippers! Today we're starting with Stuart, one of our longest running skippers. The only full-time skipper, working all through winter too, Stuart is a dab hand when it comes to caring for the Dolphin Spirit. Over the past three years, Stuart has got to know the boat inside and out numerous times, through engine replacements and wheelhouse refits. Whenever something needs fixing, you can be sure Stuart will have the solution! He's not just a fancy mechanical mind, but a man of humour too; his wit is so dry it would make the Sahara Desert jealous! Stuart also relief skippers Dolphin Mischief on occasion, and is beginning to build up some dolphin ID skills to rival those of our guides!

Man of Many Talents

Stuart has done many things in his time, from army service to care work, and this experience comes to the fore at Dolphin Spirit too. He has a timely manner, so much so that his safety brief is among the most streamlined of them all without missing any information to ensure we depart on time! He even manages to throw in a joke or two to lighten the mood. When it comes to visitors to his wheelhouse, Stuart is welcoming and jokey, but informative when people ask; young or old. If there's one thing that gets Stuart talking, it's questions about boats! A keen sailor himself, with his own boat, Stuart's knowledge of the route, the firth in general, and boats is pretty impressive. His word is very much trusted on the Dolphin Spirit team! One of Stuart's foibles is his borderline obsession with a clean wheelhouse; there's a place for everything and everything must be in its place! This extends to the cabin below too, where our storage is located, which is always organised as well! Whether it's a foible or boon is a matter of perspective in that respect! Stuart is a keen eye out on the cruiser and the RIB, and readily calls out sightings over the radio or to passengers directly. One of his proud moments so far this year came on one of his first RIB trips, when he returned with a big grin that he was able to identify our local dolphins away out at Chanonry Point without a guide (eek, he'll be vying for our job next!). 

You can guarantee that a trip with Stuart at the helm will not only be safe and comfortable, but fun from start to finish. Why not book aboard and come say hello?

Meet the Team - James and Freya

True Team!

James and Freya are one of the real "power couples" of our Dolphin Spirit crew! Both of them are only around occasionally, with James working a new internship in Glasgow this summer, and Freya branching out into her own business, but when they are here they can take any job in their stride! James is office and shore crew, and you will have likely met him before welcoming you at the front desk or joining you on Dolphin Mischief. Freya's strength is in guiding, where she will have guided you around the Moray Firth and its wonderful wildlife; a skill she has taken even further in starting out Inverness Historical Tours, a new walking tour around the city of Inverness detailing its fascinating history and stories. 

James skippering
James "skippering" the Dolphin Spirit!

Jaunty James

Working behind the desk, James is always at ease and in his element; this really comes through when you first meet him, as he is quite laid back and relaxed, happy for a chat. This has been great for passengers who may be a little nervous, as he can put even the shakiest knees still in a heartbeat with his breezy nature. A whiz-kid when it comes to the Office package, James has set up a number of sheets and databases for us to keep track of all the comings ad goings, and even got a handle of taming the somewhat temperamental cash machine! When acting as shore support, James is timely and casual, setting up for a lovely and enjoyable Mischief experience from beginning to end. There's no doubt that with James around you're sure to start and end every trip with a chilled-out grin!

Freya the Firecracker

Freya has always been one for great ideas and bold ambitions, so of course we weren't going to keep her tied down at Dolphin Spirit for long! After guiding with us for nearly 2 whole nears, Freya took her expert guiding skills and historical knowledge with her to a whole new venture. Inverness Historical Tours has proven a hit with her customers, much the same way her excitable guiding style used to be with our passengers! You may see Freya occasionally around the office visiting, or working the odd cover shift on Dolphin Spirit when we are need of a guide in the know! You will always be able to recognise her, whether about town on her tours or in our office, with her bright hair and just as bright smile; she always brightens up a room, and will brighten up your day for sure! Make sure to check out her new venture over on her website, and maybe consider going for a wander around town with her to learn all the things about Inverness they won't tell you anywhere else! The tours start at Church Street (you can find Freya's handy maps and leaflets on Dolphin Spirit and in the office), and last around an hour. Groups are limited to only 20 at a time, so make sure you book to guarantee a spot on this exciting excursion! 

Meet the Team - Alan

Master of Mischief

Today's Meet the Team segment features a true jack of all trades (and quickly mastering them all!), Alan! Alan started up with Dolphin Spirit for the 2017 season, with the addition of Mischief to the boat roster. He was originally intended to simply work on Mischief, but has become a core part of office staff too! He has quickly become the boat's overseeing officer; doing all the morning checks, refueling her, checking the lifejackets, signing off all the paperwork, and caring for the passengers onshore before and after their trips (phew, that's a lot to think about)! Not only that, Alan will be running around the marina most of the day when the boat is out, also helping tend to the needs of the office and Dolphin Spirit too!

Shoreside and Spirit Support!

The first time you spot Alan around the marina you might not notice him, because he will be there and gone again in a flash! First thing in the morning, once Mischief's checks are done, he will be in the office fixing up the cafe display area and restocking. Once the stock is taken care of, he will be filling the Mischief hot drinks canister in preparation for the first trip of the morning. You'll see Alan fixed in one spot for the first 10 minutes of the Dolphin Mischief experience, where he helps with the safety brief and aids passengers with clothing and lifejackets. You might realize then that Alan is a very informed fellow, and if you have any questions about the boat or the trip he is very able to put you swiftly to ease. He'll then be your guide down to the RIB before waving you off on your journey, but that's not the end of the morning's work, as Alan will swiftly be off for fuel, or to check on Dolphin Spirit, or muddle around in the office making sure everything is ship-shape! If he's not waving you off, he will be joining you on the trip; he's getting to know the dolphins around here very well, and is a dab hand with a camera! He's also great for morale, with a sense of humour that gets everyone giggling. There's never a dull moment with him about!

Next time you're waiting in the marina office for your trip, or out on Mischief, keep an eye out for the flash that is Alan and be sure to give him a wave! He'll make your next Mischief experience one you will never forget!

Meet the Team - Sarah

A Lot of Bounce!

And we're not just talking about her tremendous, curly locks! Today's Meet the Team feature is about Sarah, another of the core crew members at Dolphin Spirit. Along with Jenni, Sarah is one of our full-time office staff, and has been since last year! Sarah is known for her bouncy locks and personality, making her a warm and friendly welcome to all of our passengers. When she's not working at Dolphin Spirit, Sarah has a number of other jobs that she works; she doesn't stop! Even in the office she always finds something to keep her busy; whether it's cleaning up, sorting the coffee machine, or updating the booking system with all the incoming bookings, there's never an idle moment!

Busy(ness) Bee!

Sarah is another of our "photography types" here at Dolphin Spirit, with her own business too. All of our crew portraits that you see hanging in our office behind the desk were taken by Sarah on our training days. She's not only a dab hand at portraiture, she also takes atmospheric shots for our Instagram account now and again (although the equipment she uses for this is nowhere near the setup she'd like; it's our company mobile!). When she's not being snap-happy or working the desk, Sarah also does Temple Spa nights; showcasing their range of spa-inspired body care. Her pitch and calming influence is not only perfect for getting you in the spa mood, but great for reassuring our passengers that they're in for a great time, even if the conditions look a bit scary! 

I'm On A Boat!

Sarah was one of the first people to join boss Yvette aboard the Dolphin Mischief on its maiden voyage; ever since she has been itching to hop aboard again! I suppose she certainly won't be the last to feel that way either! Whether it's photographing, inspecting, or joining the boats, Sarah is always keen to be involved with them and the dolphins too. She is even known to sneak down onto the pontoons during quiet times to snatch photos of the other boats in the marina if she spots a good photo op! As I said, there's never a quiet moment with Sarah!

Next time you pop into the office, look out for a warm smile and excited hello from Sarah; she'll make your Dolphin Spirit experience get off to a fantastic start! 

Meet the Team - Jenni

The Office Veteran!

We've met the boss, we've met the guides, now we need to move back onto dry land! Today's Meet the Team showcase features the first of our office staff, Jenni! Jenni has been working on the Dolphin Spirit desk since 2016, and is our resident expert on Excel and booking system. Her ability to sort through bookings and all the data from them is unparalleled, mostly because she's the longest returning office member! She's super casual and will make you feel relaxed with a friendly smile as soon as you walk in the door. Jenni, like many of our team, is also a student, so you will tend to only see her through the summer, but she'll make sure your trip gets off to a great start!

She IS the Law

Jenni is currently studying Law when she's not on the dolphin desk, and she puts her skills to good use with us every shift; answering emails in a professional manner, and dealing with people's needs and requests without hesitation. She can dole out the commands too when required! She's perfectly suited for the courthouse! When she first started with us, Jenni came out on a few trips, hoping to be introduced to our lovely dolphins, but 3 trips later she had had no luck! Jenni has rarely stepped a foot on board since then, since she thinks she's a dolphin bad luck charm! That being said, she came aboard at the start of this season as a break from her exams, along with her golden retriever puppy Baxter!

Look out for Jenni on the desk this summer, she's service with a smile! Any questions or queries she'll be more than happy to help and get your Dolphin Spirit experience off to a splashing start!

Meet the Team - Raymond

The Man with the (Dolphin) Plan!

Raymond is our only male guide, and the last to feature in the Meet the Team showcase! He's also probably one of the last people some of our younger visitors may expect to see on the boat, as he used to be a head teacher! Working with us here at Dolphin Spirit is Raymond's idea of "retirement" if that gives you a sense of how fun the job is! Raymond is only with us at the start and end of the season; it seems he has grown too accustomed to those long summers off! He's easily one of our more experienced guides in a number of ways, and his teaching experience is always put to good use when he's on board!

A Good Head (Teacher) on Him

Raymond's particular field of interest was in geography back in his teaching days; knowledge which he brings to work with him every day when he's working on Dolphin Spirit too! Raymond has all kinds of stories about the lay of the land, including the Black Isle and the Great Glen Fault, two major talking points on our trips. If you have any questions about geology, geography, or pretty much anything geo-related, you can bet Raymond will have the answer. It's always great listening to him talk, and you can see how he made it as a teacher too; his gentle talking pace and softly spoken words feels like you're listening to a story, not a script. Raymond has gotten to know our dolphins quite well too, and enjoys getting to see them play around the boat. While the dolphins always put an extra-wide grin on his face, Raymond rocks the "service-with-a-smile" attitude, and is just happy to be out there engaging people in a little outdoor education once again!

If you've encountered anything on your travels that's made you go "hmm", Raymond is the man to ask about it! Make sure you have a chat with him on the boat, you'll always come back learning something new! As they say, every day's a school day, and it's certainly true in Raymond's case!

Meet The Team - Krystyna

Qualified and Crazy!

Krystyna is our longest returning guide; this is her third year at Dolphin Spirit. She started out with us as a Zoology undergraduate at Glasgow University, simply looking for a summer job... now she's graduated and still here! You can normally tell she'll be guiding you, as she will be glued to her huge Nikon camera set up; there's nothing better to her than a day of photographing our dolphins! Even when she's not working, she can often be found up at Chanonry Point (at least once every two weeks!), photographing dolphins and chatting about them with anyone who will listen. Not bad a bad life for a former city girl, wouldn't you say?

Jack of All Trades

Krystyna also works in the office over winter, putting her degree skills to use analyzing our sightings log for patterns and doing various odd-jobs to help improve the services Dolphin Spirit can give into the new season. Last winter she produced our new education packs, language sheets, and activity sheets and stickers. While photography and dolphins are her main passions, Krystyna really enjoys getting people excited about and engaged with the dolphins and other wildlife in the Moray Firth. She uses her photos to produce cards for people to buy as mementos of their trips, and also to show people the fascinating behaviours the dolphins display. 

Kesslet swimming in a sea of colours
A recent photo of Kesslet taken by Krystyna; many of the photos on our social media have been taken by her (look out for her Flipper & Fluke watermark)

Pride and Passion

It's not just the dolphins that Krystyna knows about; she photographs all our interesting sightings and helps charities like WDC and the Seawatch Foundation by reporting them. Last year, when we encountered a sunfish, we found out that this was the first sunfish sighting in possibly 15 years in the Inner Firth and perhaps the first live one so far in! Seawatch Foundation also requested Krystyna's photos to use in any future announcements. Krystyna is always eager to help, and loves getting involved in the science and study of the Moray Firth's spectacular wildlife. She is also an avid supporter of the WDC, having adopted our local girl Kesslet through them and raising funds by selling handmade dolphin toys with a donation for the WDC included in the price. She is even doing a 24 hour live-streaming gaming marathon on the 9th of June to raise money for the Gamers for Orcas program run by the WDC. You can read more about that here!

We can guarantee that you'll be buzzing with excitement after a trip with Krystyna, regardless of your sightings; her passion is very infectious! Be sure to ask her lots of questions on your trips with her, especially about Kesslet and Charlie!

Meet the Team - Rachel

Smiles All Round!

Carrying on our theme of guide introductions in the Meet the Team segment, we'll introduce you today to Rachel! Despite being our youngest guide, Rachel's smile is one of the biggest on our team. She's a happy, cheerful lady and this just shines through her commentary and chat with passengers. Rachel is currently studying to become a dentist at Dundee University, which probably explains her own glittering grin; and she's guaranteed to give you one too!

Short and Sweet Start

Rachel's introduction to Dolphin Spirit was a rushed one to say the least! Back before we were even Dolphin Spirit (in ye olde Dolphin Discovery days), Rachel was roped in to do competent crew training with Freya (one of our current guides at the time) and Frankie, who was planned to be a cover guide over the summer in 2016. Rachel got on very well with the training with then-skipper Gwyn, and would later return in 2016 to do shift cover and the occasional weekend shift. When Freya left at the end of 2016 to pursue her own venture (Inverness Historical Tours), Rachel stepped up to take her place as a permanent summer guide, and will be working from the end of May all the way through to September, when she will return to her studies. Rachel has really proven herself as a core member of the Dolphin Spirit team, despite her brief time in the position overall. She works hard and always with a smile; something our customers really appreciate, from all the positive reviews of her we've had!

Dolphin Dentistry?

While Rachel's main passion is in human dental services, that didn't stop her going out to learn about the dentition of our dolphins! On our training day back in March, Rachel was proudly spouting various facts about the teeth of our cetacean friends. Her favourite was that dolphins have, on average, between 80 and 100 teeth! That's a lot! But did you know, these teeth aren't used for chewing, but instead, for holding prey? As you may have seen, our dolphins are very adept at swallowing even big fish whole! Maybe with her knowledge of teeth and the treatment of them we can get Rachel to help keep our dolphins' breath minty fresh! We know Zephyr certainly needs it, as the old girl has some serious plaque! 

Make sure you say hello to Rachel when she comes aboard with us at the end of this month! She'll guarantee you have a great time and come off with a smile on your face!

Meet The Team - Yvette

Starting at the Top!

Every few days we will run our "Meet the Team" feature, showcasing our wonderful, varied staff and their stories! This will give you an insight into the crew caring for you on your next Dolphin Spirit or Dolphin Mischief adventure! Today, we are starting from the top with Director Yvette!

Humble(r) Beginnings

Today, Yvette is a successful Highland business woman, having been the brains behind the entire Dolphin Spirit venture in 2015. This wasn't always the way, however, as prior to her jump into the rough waters of entrepreneurship, Yvette was an accomplished childminder. Needless to say she has put her skills to good use at Dolphin Spirit even to this day (though instead of looking after and caring for demanding children she's looking after and caring for demanding staff these days!). Dolphin Spirit's goal, and Yvette's vision, was to become the family-friendly dolphin attraction that Inverness so badly needed; accessible to all ages and abilities, she was set to be a great focal point in the bustling tourist city. Yvette attributes her idea to watching the local dolphins near her home and Caley Marina, and realizing there was a gap in the market for Inverness' own dolphin boat. Most boats running dolphin trips in the Highlands are small, RIB craft, which excludes many locals and tourists from joining the fun. Yvette wanted her contribution to be much more than that, providing a calmer, guided experience, which would allow all aboard. When the opportunity to purchase of vessel that could accommodate her wishes (later to be named "Dolphin Spirit"), it was pretty much a no-brainer. 

Taking the Lead

Yvette's role in the company is several-fold. While she oversees much of the backroom goings-on at Dolphin Spirit, she is also the basis for much of our advertising and conversing with other companies; in this essence she is the "business face" of Dolphin Spirit. She also works on the main desk too, welcoming passengers to the marina and working the ticketing reception. While all of Yvette's decisions are essentially final, she does take the chance to ask the opinions of fellow employees, giving everyone their say in not just how their section should run, but how they see the company running as whole. This makes Dolphin Spirit a company run by the vital cogs which keep it working so smoothly. You will see Yvette almost anywhere in the office, and while she may look a little frantic at times she always works with a smile - an attitude she has passed on to many of her employees too!

Going Forward

Yvette is looking to constantly expand on her success so far; Dolphin Spirit has only been running for 2 years (now on its 3rd), but has managed to become a top 5-star Visit Scotland attraction on its first QA visit. The addition of Dolphin Mischief to her fleet has been an extension of that success, looking to provide another experience to the repertoire already offered at Dolphin Spirit Inverness. Yvette works tirelessly to keep her crew and her boats running smoothly. She is always hoping that the next year will be better than the last, and that her tours are able to show everyone the meaning of "Dolphin Spirit"!

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