It was our last day in Bohol, in fact, the last day of our Visayan odyssey so H insisted that we have to see a dolphin, whatever it takes!
Dolphin-watching in Bohol looks straightforward. No Philippine Coastguard (unlike the one to Apo Island) nor Philippine Tourism Office (in Bais) seems to be involved that here in Panglao Island, more banca boys have the chance to make money without ripping off tourists. The price of 1,700pesos covers dolphin-watching and snorkelling at nearby Balicasag Island plus rental of one life-jacket (for me) and two snorkel masks. Sounds reasonable enough, and even made ultra-reasonable when Ryan (our boatman) qualified that if we don’t see dolphins, we pay only 400pesos!
We met him on the beach by 5:30am the next day and at around 7am, our boat was floating in deep waters waiting for the dolphins. We were floating… sailing fast… lingering slowly..then sailing fast again – all these went on for what seemed to be ages that we were starting to smell disappointment, but at the same time, feeling rather triumphant that we won’t be shelling out the extra 1,300pesos(only 400pesos), hurray!
Suddenly, lo and behold! they started to appear….starting with two jumping together in perfect synchrony, then four…then more that i started to lose count! A school of dolphins, I swear there must have been hundreds of them!!
I was almost crying with joy while continuously clicking my camera! I must put this awesomely moving moment into picture!
Suddenly, the camera’s memory card registered “FULL”. Oh no! I need another card!
But H was so absorbed videoing the moment that he wouldn’t even take his eyes off that damn video camera. He was deaf to my screaming “where-the-heck-is-the-extra-memory-card?”
Groping on his camera bag, I eventually found one – what a relief! – but alas! the dolphins were jumping too fast and the boat was continuously tilting that it was almost impossible to get a stable shot. And even with the camera’s sports mode (continuous shooting), it was difficult to get a full-bodied shot.
I then soon realized that all these photographic greed is in itself interrupting this heart-moving experience so I put the camera away and went on to enjoy the sight of these wonderful creatures.
These dolphins in the wild are so beautiful, so graceful, they are like humans with the way they are showing off. They know fully well that we (some ten boats all in all) were there just to watch them and they did not disappoint us! I simply adore them! And after seeing them so happy in the wild, I now abhor what they are doing in HongKong’s Ocean Park, and now, we are even doing this in our own backyard, at Manila Ocean Park!
Dolphins. I have added them to my list of “must-see before i leave this earth!”.