Lt. Matt Bass didn’t know what he was in for Tuesday when he headed out in his Massachusetts Environmental Police patrol boat.
He said he slowed the boat down in Buzzards Bay when he noticed some dorsal fins poking out of the water. But then he kept seeing more. And more.
“It first looked like hundreds and then maybe thousands of dolphins — jumping out of the water, tails slapping, larger, smaller ones — just moving through the bay,” he said.
Bass wasn’t positive, but he thought they looked like bottlenose dolphins. They might have been another variety of dolphin or porpoise.
He stopped and shut off his boat’s engine to let the pod pass but started it back up when he realized how long it would take for them all to move.
The pod didn’t seem to mind him starting the engine back up and moving along with them, Bass said.
In his 18 years with the environmental police, he’s never seen a pod that size in Buzzards Bay. He said it would would be more typical to see in Cape Cod Bay or north of Provincetown.
Bass’s department posted the video to its Facebook page with the caption “Officers met some out-of-towners today while on patrol in Buzzards Bay.” A video posted in the comments on Facebook shows more of them.
Update: Bruno Díaz López, the chief biologist from the Spain-based Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute, confirmed Bass’s suspicion. The video depicts bottlenose dolphins, he said.