The skipper quickly gained our trust as he effortlessly negotiated the breaking waves. When clear, he cut-off the engines so we could remove our life jackets. And we all began our eager search for dolphins, and there they were, a pod of 14 bottlenose dolphins swimming close to our boat.
Courtney, owner of Halo Gaia, entered the water first to engage the dolphins. One of them reacted for a short while, but it seemed they were still sleeping. Did you know dolphins switch off half their brain whilst they sleep? The decision was for us all to get ready and enter the water with them. The skipper manoeuvred the boat and the next moment we were in the water. Some of our group enjoyed the dolphins as they swam alongside them, my daughter and I found ourselves above the dolphins when they decided to dive deeper and we watched the pod descend below us. It was a surreal moment, in a blink of an eye they were gone, swallowed up by the inky blackness of the ocean depths. Tired after the excitement, we headed back to the boat and were hauled in one by one.
On the return journey, we stopped over a reef for a snorkel where we saw a variety of different fish and turtles. My daughter age 9, and my son age 14, thoroughly enjoyed the launches, even though they each experienced slight sea sickness on the return journey which could be likened to a rollercoaster ride. The skipper negotiates the waves and then rushes directly towards the beach with such speed that you are convinced that you will be thrown over the prow of the boat when it inevitably comes to a sudden halt. As predicted, this sudden halt does occur, yet our bodies managed to defy physics and we stayed safely in position on the boat.
The following day’s trip was less stressful as we all now knew what to expect. I mentally prepared for a rear-end attack, yet this time was pleasantly surprised that I had managed to enter the boat without a repeat of the previous day’s humiliation. Although the inevitable ungainly wobbly on the side of the rubber duck seems to be unavoidable. On this trip we saw a humped back whale in the distance. We visited a different reef. Again we were rewarded with a variety of fish. At one point my whole body became a mass of stings from the water infused with Zooplankton. Interestingly the stings continued for a while once out of the water back on the boat. It was an uncomfortable sensation rather than a painful one.
Our final evening was the perfect conclusion to an enchanting trip, a friend had brought along twelve hot air lanterns that we launched from the beach into the night sky. There we stood, in the glow of candle light, fourteen friends having grown ever closer by this shared adventure.