Fungie The Dolphin - Darling of Dingle
Posted by Neil Hand on the 10th of October 2014 at 15:18:14
Dingle is one of the most beautiful and popular areas in Ireland. Stunning scenery, great food, a vibrant music scene and some fantastic traditional pubs make it a must-visit location on any trip to Ireland. But all of this mostly man-made excitement and warmth is trumped by an unusual source who has become synonymous with the town and region: Fungie the bottlenose dolphin.
Experts are baffled as to why Fungie has made Dingle Harbour his home. He has been resident in the harbour for more than 30 years, and shows no signs of wanderlust. The dolphin’s behaviour in staying in Dingle Harbour for all these years can’t be explained by scientists. Maybe it’s the wonderful atmosphere and aura of Dingle that served as a Fungie-magnet for all these years. I feel the lure myself; Dingle is one of the few places in Ireland I never get tired of visiting.
Fungie’s solitary nature is also very unusual, as Dolphins are known to love the company and camaraderie they only get from their own kind. Seeing Fungie up-close, the sheer size of the creature is truly breath-taking. He’s 13 feet in length and weighs between 250 and 300 pounds! It seemed to take an age for him to swim past our boat. But he certainly isn't shy. He basks in the attention and is eager to put a smile on the faces of anyone who has come to visit him.
His long stint as the only Dolphin in the harbour appears to be at an end, however. Possibly for the same unknown reason that attracted Dingle’s most famous resident in the first instance, there’s a new pretender to the throne. A Dolphin named Clet, who has been tracked off France, England and more locally 100km away in West Cork, has recently been spotted in the harbour. Swimmers are warned to be vigilant if they spot Clet however, as he is known to be less friendly than his more celebrated cousin.
Dingle is not just about the dolphins though. The peninsula is one of the most beautiful and unique in the world, never mind Ireland. Staying with a nautical theme for another moment, there are some fabulous islands off the coast that can be reached by a short boat-trip. These can often be combined with taking a trip in the harbour to see Fungie. The Blasket Islands and the Skellig Islands (rumoured to be a shoot-location for the upcoming Star Wars movie) are well worth a visit, and offer something different again from what’s on offer on Dingle’s streets and shores. Here’s one of several boating companies who can get you around the harbour and islands.
Dingle is also the perfect town in which to sample the famous traditional Irish pub atmosphere, a town full of music, culture, food and (of course) drink.
If you’d like help arranging your dream vacation to Ireland, and would love nothing more than to see Fungie the dolphin up close and personal, contact us today and let us get you here.