Yesterday was a wonderful day. As some of you will know, I feel I am very strongly connected to the element of Water and have been for most of my life. I’m completely in love with dolphins, turtles, whales and fish, I feel incredibly at home around rivers and the ocean, and I have been known to cause heavy rain when I work with elemental water. The dolphin is a very important spirit guide for me, and I have always wanted to meet them up-close in real life.
The team: four bubbly, excited witches. The mission: swim with seals and dolphins. The task: jump in the car and get there before the boat leaves. The last one turned out to be more difficult than expected – after 2 hours in the car we found ourselves literally running along the pier as we watched the other people putting their wetsuits on and climbing aboard. Thankfully, we made it just in time and jumped onto the boat after them. It was already an adventure…
It was a 20 minute boat ride to our first stop – swimming with the seals.
We were greeted with an overwhelming fishy smell and some barking (what do they call the noise seals make?!) before we saw a few little heads popping up from the structure in front of us. This man-made structure was built for the seals to laze around on, and clearly it fulfills its purpose!
What I love is that the seals were not kept enclosed in any way. Rather than being kept in captivity for humans to gawk at they were built a little house that they love and we go to them. A really wonderful idea.
I was very surprised that I didn’t find the water cold when I first got in. People were screaming and giggling at the freezingness of it all, but I managed to slip in without incident. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that I realised my wetsuit was too big and huge amounts of water were pouring into it. That was cold!
The seals themselves were so beautiful. On land they are so lazy – the lie there and move their heads and that’s about it – the Homer Simpsons of the ocean! But as soon as they dive in the water they are as graceful as any fish. Amazing to behold, and even more amazing when they are swimming all around you. I had seals swimming under my feet, around my body, and one gorgeous little fellow who kept swimming straight towards me as if he wanted to tacklehug, and then turning around at the last minute. So cute!
Being in the ocean is always spiritual for me. As crazy as that may or may not sound, I feel an incredible connection there – I feel like the ocean spirit is hugging me the whole time! At one point I got a bit carried away, closing my eyes and meditating lightly with the sea… I opened my eyes to find I’d drifted all the way back to the boat! Easily distracted? Me? No…
The next bit of the trip was the hardest for me. Climbing out of the water and back on the boat with all that seawater that had leaked into my wetsuit… I swear I have never been so cold in my life! I went to get a hot chocolate and was shivering so much that most of it had found its way out of the cup by the time I sat down! But, the dolphins were next and that’s what kept me going…
Or were they? After what seemed like a long time shivering and giggling with the memory of the seals, we stopped at Pope’s Eye Marine Park, with not a dolphin in sight. I sat on the boat for a while, because I was so incredibly cold, but I did spend a few minutes in the water getting acquainted with the fishies! It was like a little reef – lots of kelp and plants, beautiful fish of different colours, absolutely beautiful. My fishy adventure wasn’t to last long though, sadly, as I was so unbelievably cold I had to get out of the water. Stupid huge wetsuit!!
A bit more sightseeing and sailing along, and then the moment I’d been dreading:
“Ladies and gentleman, unfortunately the dolphins have alluded us today – we can’t find a single one, and so we’ll take you back to the pier….”
What?? No dolphins?? All that waiting, all that bouncing up and down in excitement, and no dolphins for us. I was obviously very upset, but after a few minutes of feeling sorry for myself I was at least able to take the wetsuit of evil off and dry off/warm myself up.
Apparently not finding any dolphins is very unusual on these cruises, as usually they are as excited as the humans are! But maybe today it was too cold for them, or they had decided to be lazy like the seals!
Despite the lack of my favourite creatures, and the teeth-chattering chill, it was an incredible day that I will remember for a very long time. And, if nothing else, this just means I have an excuse to go back!