Olivia's Swim With The Dolphins

Olivia went swimming with seals and dolphins in Port Phillip Bay on Sunday as part of her birthday present from TJ, Maya, Heath and I (here's the gift we got her).

The weather was overcast but warm, and Olivia was pumped. We left Sorrento at 1 o'clock on the Moonraker, heading for Chinaman's Hat and the seals.

The seal colony at Chinaman's Hat is quite small (about 40 Australian Fur Seals) and most of them were asleep. You can get close but be warned: the seals are really, really smelly:

After about 30 minutes in the water at the seal colony, the boat moved on to a marine reserve called Popes Eye, home to seabirds and close to a wrecked World War 1 submarine. The kids loved the boat ride (except for Heath; there was nothing much for him to do, and he spent most of the trip in his pram) and were most excited when we started spotting dolphins.

The most we saw in a group were about 10. And they were hard buggers to photograph above the water :-)

However Olivia saw plenty more underwater. She also got to see a baby dolphin (apparently quite rare) and a slightly older child, which sounded cool. The dolphins were dark in color with light streaks, and they moved amazingly fast underwater. There was none of the "jumping high out of the water"-stuff!

From the time when we first encountered the dolphin pod at Pope's Eye, the boat spent a bit of time cruising around looking for a good place to let everyone in the water. Olivia certainly got her money's worth and spent a fair bit of time in the water.

The crew on the Moonraker were really informative and friendly. I was a little worried that we wouldn't see dolphins (there's no guarantee, and no refund) so I reckon we were pretty lucky. The equipment was good, if not a little old, and the prices were reasonable considering we were getting a three-hour boat ride. All my dealings with OnEdge were exceptional - they were professional and helpful.

And Olivia enjoyed her present and wants to go again next year (doesn't she look the part)!

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