Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been fascinated by dolphins and dreamt of swimming with them, so when I got the chance to go and see dolphins off the coast of Bali, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately it turned out that I would have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to get the chance to watch dolphins, but that was a sacrifice I was happy to make.
We were woken up by the knock on our door the next morning. I have to say that I didn’t exactly jump out of bed, but nevertheless, 15 minutes later, I was standing on Lovina beach wearing sandals, swimming shorts, towel and a jacket ready for the mornings adventure. The boats captain wasn’t quite as ready as I was feeling though, so I spent the next 20 minutes walking round in circles on the beach wishing that I hadn’t been woken up quite so quickly.
Eventually we got going and the fresh sea breeze against my skin combined with the view of the sun rising behind Bali made me forget about my earlier frustration. The boat was only small and very narrow, which made it rock violently whenever it hit a wave – which luckily wasn’t very often. It took us less than ten minutes to get out to the dolphins feeding ground.
Trying to live out a childhood dream is a dangerous thing. I’ll be honest and say that watching dolphins swimming off the coast of Bali didn’t live up to my expectations. Instead it was more like some kind of comedy scene from an early Charlie Chaplin movie – let me explain why.
There must have been at least 35 small boats out in the water looking for dolphins. Whenever a dolphin appeared above the water, everybody would start their engines and go as fast as they could to where the dolphin had appeared. Obviously this scared the shit out of the dolphins, who would disappear below the waves again only to re-appear someplace else. Imagine this happening in an endless loop and you can start to picture the scene.
I felt a bit silly and naive as we returned from our trip to see the dolphins. Still, like all great dreams, I’m determined to fulfil my ambition of swimming with dolphins one day. It just won’t ever be off the coast of Bali!