Two common dolphins were observed in the inner coastal waters of Chappaquiddick this week. The pair were observed swimming close to shore in an area known as the narrows, near the opening to Cape Pogue, north of the Dike Bridge.

Dog meets dolphin on the banks of the narrows on Chappaquiddick. — Skip Bettencourt

On Thursday, a team of field volunteers working with the New England Aquarium watched the animals for five hours. By Friday morning, they were believed to have left the area.

Tony LaCasse, a public relations spokseman for the New England Aquarium, said dolphin sightings in the area are not unusual, but are more common on the north shore of Cape Cod. “People are unaware that there are thousands of dolphins that live year round in New England waters,” he said.

It is likely the two dolphins were hungry and were pursuing bait fish into Cape Pogue pond, Mr. LaCasse said. Dolphins will go into inshore waters, intertidal coastal ponds and into rivers looking for food, and are particularly likely to do so in Massachusetts during the months of January through March, he said.

From time to time dolphins will go into shallow waters and get stranded when the tide goes down, he said. Fortunately, the waters where the two were seen swimming was deep, he said.

The dolphins were first spotted Wednesday at dusk by Chappaquiddick resident Allen Slater. By Friday morning, the dolphins were no longer seen in the area.


For more photos of the dolphins, see our gallery: Dolphins Spotted Closed to Chappy Shore.