'There's Patches!': Paddleboarder Spots Famed Dolphin Off California Coast

A paddleboarder in the waters off Dana Point, California, was delighted to spot a bottle-nosed dolphin that has found local fame due to the peculiar patches across its skin.

Bill Clements shared footage of his encounter with the aptly named Patches to his @paddlegoat Instagram account.

The footage shows Clements as he glides along, attempting to get closer to the dolphin, with the bottlenose eventually rising from the water nearby.

According to SavingOceanWildlife.org, the dolphin’s distinctive look comes courtesy of a condition called leucism.

The organization adds that it is “a congenital anomaly, taking place in the early stages of embryonic development, causing a reduction in melanin resulting in a partial loss of pigmentation.”

Patches has become a local hero, with the beloved bottlenose often appearing in the waters up and down the Orange County Coastline, and being covered by a number of local media outlets.

As for Clements, sharing the footage on October 12, he wrote, that it was an “exciting” experience, and joked that he was trying to get close enough to the dolphin “to get an autograph”. Credit: @paddlegoat via Storyful

Video transcript

- There's Patches.

- Is your Patches fix fulfilled today, Brittany? That's right over here.

- We did. It was just enough.

- Oh, there's Patches. There's Patches!

[LAUGHTER]