Wednesday, November 30, 2005

27 Nov - An ill wind

There was a nasty cold wind blowing at about 30 kph when I arrived at Bay1. The sight of 2 dolphins fishing within 10 metres of the shore was not enough to tempt me to plunge into the water. I watched as they swam out towards the outer reef, congratulating myself on still being dry.
I drove to Bay2 to see what was happening. As soon as I reached the beach I saw two fins in the bay so decided to get changed. This bay was a lot more protected from the wind and the sun was radiating more warmth so it wasn't such a hard decision. On returning to the beach I was confronted with an empty bay - not a fin in sight. It wasn't more than 10 minutes before a few fins appeared near the reef. They seemed to be deciding whether to enter the bay or not. After a couple of false starts they started to swim slowly in. I met up with them about 70 metres from shore and four heads lifted to check me out. They gave me a slow swim by and went about their business, still in the bay, before returning for more swim bys. After 10 minutes they left and I returned to shore to warm up. Strangely, I did not recognize even one fin in the group.
Over the next 40 minutes I had two more 10 minute encounters. The first was noticeable for a frenetic synchronized circle game being played under me by two juveniles. This game involves swimming in about a 3 metre diameter circle directly under me trying to break eye contact. It excites the young Ds to this and they let out high pitched squeals of delight.
The third visited involved the usual swim bys but had a bonus. A juvie decided to swim alongside me on the surface ( unusual behaviour ) for about 20 metres and then when we were almost touching do an almost vertical dive, allowing me to dive down alongside. The D seemed to know that I would surface quickly with my buoyant wetsuit on and surfaced alongside me and we both took a breath and dived again. A touch of synchronized swimming with one of us a little more elegant that the other - still the D was only young :-)
The small group in the bay left shortly after to join a group of about 12 which moved slowly away.
As I left a little boy asked "Any dolphins here today?"


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