At 5:30 we wake up for our 6 AM departure date to go dolphin watching. The hotel is on the beach and the boat is right next door. It is still dark. We are greeted by Ahmed, our young captain. Our vessel hardly looks what you would call “seaworthy“. It is more or less a wood canoe about 24“ wide, a motor, and two long bamboo poles attached on each side for extra support. Our seat is a wood plank across the width of the boat. There are no flotation devices under the seat.
Our hotel is around 2 Km west of the main tourist area. Which luckily put us closer to the dolphin area. When we arrive there are no other boats. Ahmed soon points out some black shapes popping in and out of the waves. Our first glimpse of them is very brief, but it is exciting anyway. The sun is quickly rising now. In the distance we can see a fleet of tourist boats from Lovina heading in our direction.
The dolphin watching is actually a bit silly in Bali. It should actually be called Dolphin Chasing. Groups of boats are in some general areas of the sea known for having dolphins at that time in the morning. Where they will be exactly is obviously unpredictable. So some dolphins are spotted, and all the captains race their boats and tourist passengers to that place. By then, of course, the dolphins have moved on only to be spotted again, and the mad dash ensues. Mika has done dolphin watching in Japan and says that there they actually turned off the engines. The dolphins were happy just playing around the boat. But try telling that to the thirty-two boat captains on the water this morning.
|It is really difficult to photograph dolphins.|
Noone is blowing a whistle to tell us when or where they are going to jump.