Tuesday, December 27, 2005

24 Dec - Something's happening here

"There's always something happening around here, isn't there?"
That was a quote from a lady that was chatting to me as I left the water in Bay2. She had just witnessed an unusual occurrence about 30 metres from shore. I was just returning from a swim with several dolphins when I noticed a disturbance in the water about 20 metres from me. The water was really churned up after two days of howling onshore winds so it was hard to make out what it was but I knew that it wasn't a dolphin. While I was watching the swirls on the water I could make out a creature coming towards me at high speed just below the surface. As it got closer I could see its colour and guessed that it was a sea lion ( neophoca cinerea ). No sooner had this happened than it became airborne and flew past my nose. albeit about two metres away. It then popped its canine head up and stared at me, probably trying to see if I had expired from shock. I think I may have if I had not experienced the antics of these fun loving creatures before. I was hoping it would stay and entertain me with its underwater grace but it moved on parallel to shore and out of the bay.
Earlier, I had an exhilarating 15 minute swim with 5 dolphins for 15 minutes. Visibility under the water was about a metre but they spent a fair bit of time on the surface cruising along allowing me to keep up with them.
There were dolphins in and out of the bay for the best part of 3 hours. I did a fair bit of swimming around the reef outcrops and would regularly have one or more of the dolphins for company. I only saw them when they surfaced or as faint shadows underneath me.
I was on holiday for 6 days over Christmas and only found one day where the wind was light enough to make a swim worthwhile.
Summer will arrive soon, I'm sure.


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