Gracy the dolphin

The Story Gracy

Gracy is a Hawaiian spinner dolphin, Stenella longirostris, named in honor of Victoria Carlsson of California. Gracy has a very distinctive v-shaped notch along the trailing edge of the dorsal fin that is used in photoidentification of individual dolphins.

Gracy has been sighted four times by the research team at Pacific Whale Foundation. The first sighting was on August 6, 2002 off southeast Lana’i and Gracy was seen with 30-60 other spinner dolphins milling in the area. On February 7, 2010 Gracy was sighted again by the staff aboard Ocean Explorer with 150-175 spinner dolphins. The third sighting was on March 31, 2012 in Manele Bay with approximately 125 spinner dolphins. The fourth sighting was off of west Maui on April 5, 2013 with 30-50 other spinner dolphins traveling north in three subgroups.

The Hawaiian spinner dolphins have been well studied by for decades allowing for researchers to collect a wealth of information on their behavioral patterns. For example, researchers have been able to ascertain that these dolphins rest in coastal regions and bays during the day and prefer regions with sandy bottoms. The theory is that these sheltered bays provide shelter from offshore predators such as sharks.

As nightfall approaches the dolphins' behaviors change with increased activity, leaping, and spinning as the dolphins prepare to move offshore to hunt at night. The efforts are coordinated and the group of dolphins, called a pod, won’t move offshore until all the dolphins appear ready to go.

We are grateful for your support of Pacific Whale Foundation through adopting Gracy as it helps fund Pacific Whale Foundation's ongoing wild dolphin research. We hope you enjoyed learning about your dolphin.

Sightings of Gracy