met up with sherlock and gf again, drove up to Port Stephens, or to be more precise, Nelson Bay. 2.5 hours from Sydney, mostly on a good long stretch of motorway. Got there round about lunch time, had some very fresh fish and chips.
We joined the Imagine, a 18m catamaran. I chose it over the other boats was cos the others looked like ferries and had too many people on board. Imagine can hold 60, I think we were about 30. Seating on the foredeck, with steel grid that opens down, so we could see the water surface.
It was very very windy out in the open sea, I was glad I took my sweatshirt. Tea was provided, that helped. Most people huddled on the deck but once the boat got going, I went and sat at the port side &ldquot;balcony&rdquot; (for want of the proper terminology), the bit that sticks out and feels closer to the sea. I was getting cold and considering going back inside when we spotted out first dolphin. At first it was just a couple of fins, but we got excited. The skipper turned the boat slowly toward the dolphins.
And there they were, they started swimming closer and then they were swimming with the boat, under the boat, next to it, around it. From where I was sitting, I felt like they were right beneath me, every few minutes they’d jump up above the surface. Quite hard to photograph, especially with only my small camera. But it was still really special. I lucked out, I had the best seat in the house and I wasn’t budging.
All in all we saw 3 groups of dolphins, the final group ended with like 7-8 of them swimming in formation under me. By then my camera had run out of batteries so I just sat back and watched. It was unbelievable.
Once on our way back the wind eased up and I sat with my feet dangling over the edge, close to the surface. So what if my shoes got wet, it was fun fun fun.
The drive back was a bit tiring, had to really concentrate. But even after dropping them home I got back to the hotel by 9pm.
Funny thing is, I’m trying to type this up, I’m sitting at the desk and it feels like I’m still at sea. Rocking and rocking. Going off to bed now.