"Captain Phillip's Charters & Tours"
The Historic Jekyll Wharf Marina
& Darien River Cruises
Jekyll Island Dolphin Tours
For further information and reservations please call
We travel the rivers, creeks, beaches, and sounds observing bottlenose dolphin from our boats.
Our professional crew all love the water and what they do and
have all been doing this for over 10 years.
Our tours are also sightseeing tours that are fully narrated by the crew on the history and ecology of Jekyll Island, Saint Simons Island and the Golden Isles
We offer tours each day with Sunset Dolphin Tours during the summer
Departure times vary so please call for the latest information
Watch our YOU TUBE Dolphin Video
Rates are still just $24 for 11 years old and above, $12 for children 10 to 2 years,
and 2 and under are FREE!!
Military Discounts Available
Narrated Public Dolphin Sightseeing Tours are approximately 90 minutes in length
We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover cards (sorry no personal checks)
Our tour boats are docked at the Jekyll Wharf Marina, in the Historic District of beautiful
on the Wharf with the two restaurants, Latitude 31 and the Rah Bar.
When Santa goes on vacation his favorite activity is the Dolphin Tour
The boats are US Coast Guard certified for 40 passengers, and they are equipped
with a sun cover and a bathroom.
The boat Captains are all US Coast Guard Master Mariners with years of experience
conducting tours on the Georgia Coast
Our Dolphin Observations
I don’t claim to be a Dolphin experts, but I have read a lot on these amazing animals and we have been observing them almost daily for about eight years now and I would like to share what we have discovered. The majority of my personal observations have been on the Georgia Coast off shore and in the sounds, creeks and rivers. I have come to love these creatures and to have the most respect for them. I have also come to recognize some of them year after year and as strange as it seems I believe that they recognize me also. I believe that most of the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphins move from the Georgia coast in late October and November to warmer waters in the south following their food source. They may not all leave the area leaving behind some of the mothers that are tending to their babies (I don’t like to call them calves, they are babies). They return to Georgia waters in the spring following schools of fish. I have read that they return to the same waters each year and that during that time they will stay within about a twenty mile area.
Dolphins Basic Anatomy
Most of the navigation and sensing of things in the water come from the dolphin’s melon and work like underwater sonar. Even though they depend heavily on the melon detection they have exceptional vision both in and out of the water. In the water, their eyes are protected from the salt water by mucus secreted from glands at the outer corner of the eye. Their ears are small and hard to detect and are located just behind the eyes. The fluke is where the dolphin obtains their swimming power. The dorsal fin provides stabilization and some believe that it may also regulate body heat. A dolphin's body heat is very close to a human’s body heat at 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Are dolphins as sweet as they appear? Several of the Dolphin that we see regularly are identified by their battle scars. They fight among themselves for dominance and pod hierarchy and may just get mad or aggravated. We see them smack their tails and show their teeth and even head butt each other. We have one dolphin that we call Nick because he has a chunk missing from his dorsal fin that matches the outline of a dolphin’s mouth.
Dolphins mature sexually at 6 to 8 years and will give birth every 2 to 3 years and can give birth as many as eight times during their lifetimes. They can give birth at any time of year but most commonly have their babies in the spring and summer. We refer to this as Family Planning and I believe that this is second only to feeding.
What do dolphins eat?
After feeding on mama’s milk the babies start eating fish at 3 to 4 months old but some may feed on mother’s mike for up to 18 months. Dolphins feed on all kinds of fish and crustaceans but prefer shiny silver fish such as menhaden and silver eels. Adults eat 12 to 15 pounds of fish a day and 20 pounds or more in cold waters. They generally find a school of fish and eat until their hearts content. Sometimes in large areas of deep water dolphin will circle a school of fish until it becomes a tight ball and then they will go in one at a time to feed. They have a similar form of feeding in shallow water known as Strand Feeding. During strand feeding the dolphin will push a school of fish into very shallow water, sometimes completely out of the water. The dolphin will move into this shallow water feeding and will often come completely out of the water and onto the shore.
How long do dolphins live?
This is like asking how long do people live? In captivity, dolphins have lived as long as 40 years. In the wild, though, scientists believe they only live 25 to 30 years, and very few have lived to 50 years.
How big are dolphins?
Dolphin babies are about 30 to 36 inches long and weigh about 20 pounds at birth. The mother’s milk is some of the most nutritious on earth and a baby dolphin can double in size in three to four weeks. Adult males are larger than females. The Atlantic bottlenose dolphins will reach 7 to 10 feet in length and 300 to 600 pounds by the time they are teenagers.
Do dolphins sleep?
Dolphins don’t sleep like we do because they keep moving most of the time except when they stop for things like family planning. They keep traveling with the pod but take short naps near the surface for a couple of minutes at a time.
How often do dolphins surface?
Dolphins don’t have nostrils like most marine mammals so they will surface every 15 to 20 seconds to clear their blow holes with a burst of air. They can dive to about 600 feet and can stay underwater for 8 to 10 minutes by slowing their heart beat and controlling their blood flow. Humans don’t have to think about breathing and do it automatically but dolphins have to consciously think about breathing.
How do Dolphins travel?
Dolphins travel in groups called pods of up to about 15, most pods around here have about 8. When several pods come together to travel it is called a herd. A pod typically consists of several adult females, babies and adult males. Pods may travel together in herds of several hundred individuals.
Captain Phillip W Kempton