I panicked the moment I went into the water and that made me miss my first glimpse of the wild dolphins around me. The cold water, high waves and not to mention, deep cloudy waters threw me off that my first reaction was to panic. My team leader kept shouting for me to put my head in the water but my brains just froze and I was left gasping for air as the waves kept crashing into my face. Disappointed in myself, I let my leader pull me back to the safety of the boat. And I felt like I had failed the test. Not a very good start to swimming with these wild dolphins, I thought.
What was I even doing swimming in the open waters when I have a phobia of deep waters? Well, If you can remember, I was very disappointed on my last trip to Sydney because I didn’t manage to see any wild dolphins even though I had made a special trip to Jervis Bay to do so. Discovering this opportunity at not just seeing them but swimming with them through Rockingham Wild Encounters, I felt that it was a new adventure to be attempted, even though I was filled with trepidation at the thought of being in the waters.
The day started off with calm waters and gorgeous weather but also left us cruising along for more than an hour in search of dolphins. Waiting is such an awkward time for a solo traveller like me so I imagine I’ve talked my ear off to everyone around me while waiting.
Suddenly, we hear a call and we finally see some fins in the water. Dolphins have been spotted! The big moment has arrived!
BUT…yes, that moment was shortlived. I panicked and my team leader pulled my group back onto the boat.
That disappointment was such a bitter pill to swallow but I can say that I did manage to see these dolphins in the wild. My team leader was very nice though, she comforted me and told me the day was still young but I had enough disappointment and contented myself with that glimpse in the water that I had.
It was just a surprising and magical moment.
More dolphins came up by the side of the boat and we scrambled to get our gears on and out into the water. I held on so tightly to my team leader’s belt that I felt bad for her. But I finally managed to actually see the dolphins! Under the water!!
They were all around us and under us and it was totally an awesome feeling to think that these are all WILD dolphins. I couldn’t see far underwater but they were a blur of movements since they swam so fast through the water.
And the most amazing thing that happened after that?
These dolphins just kept coming and coming and coming. We were constantly taking turns with the other teams to be in the water, it was crazy to think of the number of dolphins that kept coming up to the boat.
With the last of the dolphins swimming away, we finally settled down to finally make our way back. Just when I thought all the excitement and surprises of the day had ended, though, the day threw up one last surprise to end off the whole amazing experience.
As our boat sped back to shore, dolphins suddenly started to jump out of the water to ride the waves at the back of the boat. It would seem like a never-ending game to them but to me, it was just mesmerizing watching them having fun with the waves and racing against one another in the water like children. My smile never left my face the whole time I was watching them play. It was a totally unexpected moment that I thoroughly enjoyed.
My search for wild dolphins ended here but this experience only made me want to search them out again, even just to see them play in the waters again.
Before we left the boat for shore, the crew told us that in all the days that they had gone out to swim with these wild dolphins, they had never seen as many of them as that day. Looks like I got very lucky this time with these wild dolphins. I left happy.
I had booked a tour with Rockingham Wild Encounters for this experience. The original price was A$205 but I managed to find a groupon coupon for A$99. It cost A$75 to just watch from the boat. The swim includes lunch and I opted to be picked up from Central Perth and brought directly to Rockingham (about 45mins away). Just bring your swimsuit (or bathers as the Australians call it) and a wetsuit will be provided.
Pick-up for Central Perth was from Wellington St Tourist Coach Stand. This bus stop is beside bus stand #12898 (after Perth Railway Station) and directly in front of the bus station. Globe Backpackers Hostel is across from this stand.
How about you? Have you ever encountered such an amazing experience with the wild? Please do share! 🙂