No, that's not Fungie, the famous Dingle dolphin, pictured with diver Nigel Motyer in the last photograph of the article. That's Dusty—the Doolin dolphin—hanging playfully upside down and ready for Nigel to give her a rub under her beak. Except she's not always so playful, and she's no longer in Doolin. First spotted there in 2000, Dusty's moved up the coast to a small cove near the southern mouth of Galway Bay, where she's given some fun and not-so-fun experiences to people who have swum with her. A website dedicated to the dolphins of Ireland describes some such encounters and offers explanations for her sometimes aggressive behavior. After swimming with her for the first time, Nigel found the website useful but also a "good reminder of just how brave I was!"
The story goes that Dusty was named for singer Dusty Springfield, who died in 1999 and whose ashes were scattered from the Cliffs of Moher, just a mile or so from where the dolphin first appeared shortly after that. Since then, Dusty's provided many memorable encounters with swimmers who've traveled to see her. "The dolphin though," says Nigel, "has yet to get a record deal."