Searching for Wild Dolphins at Jervis Bay

Heading out across the bay

Heading out across the bay

I couldn’t wait to meet my first dolphin in the wild. Looking up Jervis Bay online would tell you that they are quite popular among locals for the white, sandy beaches and beautiful, clear waters. They would also tell you that they have wild dolphins in their bay area all year round. I was sold. They had me at the beautiful beach but to be able to see wild dolphins? I hit jackpot. Needless to say, this was one day trip away from Sydney that I was REALLY looking forward to.

Lesson 1: Searching in open waters is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

It’s SO hard to catch any glimpse of them! Each time I thought I caught a glimpse of a fin, my friend would point out that it was just waves. I went from shrieking out at every possible glimpse to sullenly squinting my eyes in the hopes that I actually catch sight of these dolphins. The boat went across the bay and back, the Captain changing course each time he received any reports of dolphins sightings in the area.

Lesson 2: Wild dolphins do not like choppy waters.

We started off in good weather conditions. Slowly, the swells began to get bigger. The wind kept getting stronger and eventually kept smashing into my face, blowing up my hair into this horrible, messy do. I stupidly refused to give up my watch for the dolphins in the open while my friends wisely moved indoors away from the attacking winds. I was miserable out there. Alone, cold and with no sights of a single dolphin.

Lesson 3: Wild = unpredictable

Respect the wild animals. It is precisely because they are wild animals that we cannot always predict their movements. I had to listen to this being reiterated over and over again by the Captain. The boat slowly turned back. I kept my eyes on the water the whole time, hoping and hoping against all odds.

But it was not meant to be.

The boat docked without a single sighting despite being out on the waters for quite a while. My guide told us that this is not a usual occurrence as the dolphins are usually found around the bay. I guess this was just not my day to see any of them.

Disappointed that I didn’t manage to spot any dolphins at this Jervis Bay, I contented myself with spending time on the beach instead. Wild dolphins? I’ll be sure to keep a lookout on another trip instead.

Have you ever experienced any animals in the wild? Or have you been disappointed with any of your experience meeting these animals? Please do share! 🙂


40 thoughts on “Searching for Wild Dolphins at Jervis Bay

  1. It is such an amazing feeling to see animals (especially marine life) in the wild. I have seen a multitude of wild dolphin here in Florida amongst other critters and while in Alaska I have seen humpback and orca whales, spotted dolphin, seals, bald eagles, bears, and more. I hope that they next time you go out you will encounter a dolphin or two.


    • I love to see them in the wild BUT I can only do so when I travel because they are not usually found in Singapore. I hope that I do eventually get to see them too, I would love to see these dolphins!!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂


  2. I lived in Miami for 9 years and every time we went snorkeling/boat riding everyone would see wild dolphins except me! Then I went to college in Sarasota in a campus that had a bay and every single person on campus would see wild dolphins either at the bay or at the beach. When I told people I’d never seen one they would laugh and say they saw them all the time.

    And then one day my last year in college, I went to the beach with a friend to watch the sunset without expecting anything and…..THEY APPEARED!!! Wild dolphins! With wild baby dolphins! It was one of the happiest moments of the year, no kidding!

    My point is, even if you have to wait 13 years for it, the magic will happen, and it’ll be worth it 🙂


    • LOL..but I’m glad that you did manage to see them after so long, especially baby dolphins!! They would have been so cute!!

      I’ll have to wait for my time I suppose. I love seeing dolphins because they seem so intelligent but have only seen those in captivity and never in the wild. If only….but I shall wait for my time…haha…:)


  3. I went to a tiger reserve in India, only had one day and needless to say, didnt see a single tiger. Such is life I guess. Sorry you didnt see any dolphins Sha, nice post though! When you’re travelling sometimes this is the sort of thing that happens 😦


    • Haha, they were hiding in the bushes!!! I suppose it’s really hard to catch a glimpse of them when they are in their natural surroundings. They have all rights to hide away from us but it’s true, you can never expect all to be rosy when you are visiting only for a short while.

      Hope you are feeling better! 🙂


  4. Oh I am so glad I stumbled on this post. I grew up there and I am currently overseas so lovely to see a photo of home. I hope you still had a wonderful day even if you didn’t see any dolphins!
    I have seen a few animals in the wild mostly kangaroos and dolphins and whales.


    • Wow really? I’ve got to tell you that I LOVE Jervis Bay. My guide told us that it’s a well-kept secret among locals there. Is that true? Haha, I was like trying to think whether I should be writing about it since I didn’t want to spoil the secret…hahaha…

      But yeah, the beach was simply gorgeous and I loved how it was long enough that you can simply grab a spot and there may not be a lot of people around.

      And you have dolphins in the bay too!! Simply awesome…:)


      • It is the best place hey. My parents still live down there and when I get back from travelling I will be broke and homeless so I’m moving in with them for the summer, not that I am complaining. Yeah it;s nice to have a beautiful beach with hardly anyone around, but yeah a lot of people don’t know about it so shhhhh! Lol just kidding!


  5. Interesting to read your view of looking for dolphins. I have never heard the word ‘wild’ applied to dolphins before. However we do talk about dolphins in captivity. Sorry you did not see any but Jervis Bay is such a lovely area. I have seen dolphins in the sea when I have been on a ferry and they just appeared.


    • That would be so awesome…I love dolphins which is why I wanted to see them in their natural environment…you never know when they’ll appear…which is what had happened here..haha..:)


  6. This was really cool but heartbreaking to read. It’s too bad you didn’t see them. Other than birds, I’ve never met any truly “wild” animals. Your post really makes me want to change that.


    • Haha…yes, I suppose I really can’t expect to spot them all the time when they are free to roam around but I think it’s awesome to see animals in their own natural environment even though it’s a bit hard to do so nowadays. You can try it out too…:)


  7. Too bad the dolphins were playing shy but you sound like a real trooper to keep outside and keep watching. I have swam with dolphins but they were not wild. I have done a fair amount of snorkelling and sometimes it’s disappointing but sometimes magnificent.


    • Yeah, they had their own lives to think about, they couldn’t care less about people who had to pay to see them…haha…oh well, I’m sure I’ll get another opportunity to see one in their natural environment eventually. 🙂


  8. Awwww…your day will come. We have lots of dolphins on the West Coast where I live. They follow the boats, especially those that head out to visit the Channel Islands. They are beautiful and frisk in the sea behind the wake, playing and jumping. Someday they will play for you.


  9. I saw an otter yesterday in Vancouver – just sitting on a rock eating a fish, I watched him for a while but the minute I pulled out my camera he slipped into the water and disappeared! Keep your eyes peeled – you never know! Good luck on finding those elusive dolphins 🙂


    • Yeah, they really have a mind of their own! Of course, this is precisely because they are in their natural environment. But isn’t it so awesome to just see them? I especially love dolphins so hopefully, I will get to see them one day…haha…:)


  10. Ohh sorry that you didnt see any… It happens though.. And sometimes they appear when you least expect! Ive seen many wild marine animals, sharks, turtles, sea lions, penguins, and most of them only snorkeling in shallow waters 😃 The Galapagos Islands and the Maldives are a great option if you want to see them without having to go too deep 😃


  11. I once spent the whole afternoon staring out to sea from the coastline, trying to see dolphins or wales in Canada. The only time we heard people enthusiastically shouting “Oh look there!”, was when we had turned our backs to leave… The next day we took a boat 🙂


  12. The only place we’ve seen wild dolphins that I can remember is Tangalooma, where they actually feed them at a certain time each night – kind of cheating! I would love to take the kids out whale watching or dolphin spotting, though. Perhaps in a couple of years when their concentration is up to it. Like you point out – it’s not just like going to a zoo!


  13. Pingback: Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Rockingham (Australia) | Lifetomyfullest

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