Dolphin Spotting

by Delia on February 5, 2010

What a fantastic day’s outing! We saw LOTS of dolphins – leaping, turning and twisting under the boat, streaking along ahead of us. The faster we went, the more of them came to play and race; they seemed to dare each other in how near they’d allow the boat to come before flicking their tails and speeding out of its path to safety.

Dolphins racing in front of the boat

Natewa Bay is a 40 minute drive from Daku, and the trips are run by Collin Kenny who runs Lomalagi. Her resort is a very upmarket one, and commands spectacular views over the bay, which is billed as the largest deep-water bay in the South Pacific (quite what that mean I don’t know – are there larger shallow water bays?). Whatever the answer, the outlook is a lovely one of mountains stretching away either side of the wide bay – and home to two resident pods of dolphins. It’s hard to count their numbers but the one we saw must have had about 50 or 60. Our boatman Sam found the spot with no trouble; I expected him to switch off the engine, but quite the contrary, the more he revved it the nearer the dolphins came. And then he took us on an exhilarating twisting ride backwards and forwards around their territory, and we were enthralled as they tore along in front of us, beside us, across the bows and under the hull. We must have spent some 20 or 30 minutes doing that, all of us just stunned by their grace, power and proximity. I did my best to take some photos and got a few – but my camera takes a second or two to react and so I was hard pressed to catch any of their leaps!

First glimpse of the dolphin pod

Natewa Bay also has magnificent reefs, and we anchored off one of them and snorkelled for an hour or so. The corals were fantastic, with blue and pink hard corals, plate corals, staghorn corals, and several soft corals including Fiji’s magic coral which turns white when touched. The reefs are a long way from the shore and can only be accessed by boat. I don’t have an underwater camera so here’s a picture of my friend, a very happy Phoebe, on the way back!

Phoebe dolphin spotting

And if any of our guests want to do the trip, we’ll put them straight in touch with Collin. She has a 90% success rate in spotting them on every day except Sunday – and has no idea why that should be true, but it is.

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