I was elated to find out that there would be a Dolphin watching boat tour from the tour itinerary in Bali, although I had been on boat cruises to see the wild mammals for the past consecutive 2 years in Hong Kong (November 2013) & Tasmania (May 2014). Well, who can resist & say no to another chance to meet the adorable Dolphins? At least I can’t! 😛
Wild Dolphins can be spotted in the sea by sailing out from Lovina Beach, a laid back 12 km coastal stretch to the West of Singaraja in north Bali. Although Lovina has been founded since 1953, it is a relatively quieter coastal town compared to the famous beaches in the south. The main activities include diving, snorkelling, fishing & dolphin watching, while relaxing & enjoying the slow pace of life here. As it was low season in November, we didn’t find the place crowded at all, only a handful of Caucasians here & there. In fact I don’t remember seeing other Asians except our group. Understood from the tour guide that it can get a little crowded during the peak season in July & August, but other than that, it is usually a quiet part of Bali.
The Dolphin watching boat tour would depart from the beach at 6am, so we had to wake up around 5am on the second day morning! As it was too early & I didn’t have enough sleep, I actually forgot to put on my anti-nauseous sticky patch till I got to the beach, so I was a bit apprehensive given my past nauseous experiences when on the dolphin boat cruises. Our tour leader told us the boat tour wouldn’t take too long, “probably 30 to 45 minutes only”. No choice but just have to keep my fingers crossed that it won’t get too bumpy riding on the traditional outrigger boat you see below:
After being provided with a life jacket each, we were told to remove our footwear before boarding the boat for 5 persons. The sun had yet to rise at 6am & sailing out into the sea felt refreshing with the cool breeze. About 15 minutes out at sea, we could see the beautiful sun rising from a distance in the mountains.
After catching the gorgeous sunrise, it started to get warm. There was no Dolphin in sight even after 1 hour of sailing, & I wondered to myself why our tour leader said it’d be a short boat tour. Did that mean we have no luck sighting the Dolphins? 😦 To my surprise our boats just kept sailing further & further out from our departure point, & often we could hear our boatman communicating to his colleagues (I presume) via some radio device in Indonesian language, presumably talking about where to sail for higher chances of Dolphin sighting. All 5 of us on the boat were kinda giving up hope that we would get to see the Dolphins eventually. What more with the rhythmic rowing of boat + wind + sun, it made us feel sleepy haha. Finally after more than 1.5 hours, the boatman alerted us that the adorable Dolphins were nearby!
It was so fun when our boatman started signalling us to pay attention to the waters so as to spot the greyish-coloured Dolphins, because we were practically racing with our eyes + fingers to see if we could capture great shots of the marine mammals shooting up. I can’t really describe how elated we were during moments when the Dolphins sprung up in pods, as if they were performing for us. They were so fast swimming from 1 place to another that it was tough catching up with them, & even harder to get stunning shots of the Dolphins when they fully emerged from the water. The best part of the tour had to be when the boatman told us that Dolphins were underneath our boat, & when we looked down, they were indeed “knocking” on our boat, unbelievable that we were that close!
The boat tour took about 2.5 hours for the full trip, & not like what our tour leader claimed. Thankfully the sea was very calm & I didn’t feel nauseous at all. It was a wonderful mini-adventure on this traditional outrigger boat although many of us had fear of our cameras or mobile phones falling into the sea or something to that effect. 😛 Though not as modern or high-tech as the boats I took previously in Hong Kong or Tasmania, it’s good as long as it serves the purpose of bringing us close to the wild Dolphins, isn’t it? Furthermore, you can also catch a lovely view of the sun rising from the mountains. 😉
If you haven’t visited Lovina in Bali yet, I recommend you to try this out for your next trip. You will definitely love it, especially if you are an animal lover! 😀