Last year hubby bought me a voucher to swim with wild dolphins for my birthday. 8 months later and we finally booked our swim – better late than never I say. We had to wait for a day when the winds and waves were going to accommodate so we did have a couple of false starts.
So with a 5am start we headed to the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury (a 2 hour drive from Perth) to swim with the dolphins in Koombana Bay.
To say I was a little excited was an understatement, even the 5am start didn’t faze me.
After donning our wetsuits and snorkelling gear we headed out on the boat into the bay.
It was about 5 minutes before we saw our first pod of dolphins. They are such graceful mammals – I could just watch them for hours.
We jumped in the water a number of times over the next 3 hours in an attempt to try to get the dolphins to engage with us. Our guide told us to spin around, dive, make lots of noise underwater and generally act like clowns as this was what would attract them to come closer.
The closest they came were within 2 meters of myself. Unfortunately my multi-tasking skills of trying to breathe, swim (i.e. not drown) and film was severely lacking and I missed getting a shot of them underwater.
However, we did get extremely close to them while on the boat. We cruised into the estuary (we weren’t allowed to swim in this section due to the high number of boats) and were immediately greeted by another pod of 6-8 dolphins, including a baby.
It was an amazing experience and I am already talking about booking another swim in for the next season. Hopefully I will have mastered my snorkelling and GoPro skills by then and get some great underwater shots.
The centre offers a number of options for seeing the dolphins, these include:
- Swim encounter
- Interacting with them in the “Interaction Zone” – this takes place in knee/waist height water on the beach
- A discovery centre that is full of facts and educational info about dolphins
You can find out more here at the Dolphin Discovery Centre site.