Monkey Mia, Eagle Bluff, Francoise Peron National Park

Monkey Mia Travel Blog

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Feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia

Despite having only a couple of hours sleep last night Cedric managed to get us all up and moving at 6.30am in time to drive down to Monkey Mia to see the feeding of the wild dolphins. They can arrive any time between 7.30 and 10am and we were lucky to have arrived early since they too were up early this morning. At first we just watched them swim and splash in the shallows of the beach, but then two dolphins were 'walked' up and down the lines, before groups of dolphins grouped round a guide who randomly picked people from the crowd to step forward and feed them a fish. The dolphins have been 'trained' to do this for 30 years, since research staff started feeding the wild dolphins and began attracting a larger group.

Us after very little sleep, Monkey Mia
When it was realised that the dolphins were now failing to teach their calves how to hunt, the amount of fish was reduced to just a fifth of their daily diet, despite attending 3 feedings a day. Gemini had forwent this stop-over on grounds that she didn't agree with it, which I respect, and having swum with dolphins and kayaked with them I can honestly say kayaking in the ocean with them was more awe-inspiring because they were really wild. Still, I enjoyed the morning and took lots of photos nonetheless.

Back at the hostel we lounged around the pool, or caught up on sleep until 4.30pm when the hostel arranged for a group of 10 of us to drive down in 4WD to Eagle Bluff, part of the 14,000km Shark Bay coastline and as the name suggests, with the highest concentration of sharks anywhere in the world.

4WD to Eagle Bluff to sea sharks
The 4WD drive down to the inaccessible point was exhilarating enough, and from the clifftop we could see the dark shadows of sharks darting through the water. I wasn't expecting to be able to swim with them however, but we waded out about 500m off the beach where the seabed was still shallow enough to be only chest deep. Apparently in all the history of Shark Bay, no one has ever been attacked - nice statistic. Here we stood still (all except the boys who were in fine fettle today and acting the clowns) and tried to spot the shadows darting past us. I moved away from the group a little in the hope of having more chance, though I felt slightly apprehensive but was instructed to stamp my feet if I felt afraid and not to swim away in case they gave chase. Probably the closest I got was about 4m away, but without polarised glasses, the shadows were hard to see and my eyes not tuned to quick movements.
Hot tub in Francois Peron National Park

Back in the 4WD we took another exhilerating ride to another clifftop and I walked Aborigine style in barefoot over the hot sand and through the bush shrubs. Finally we returned to the hostel to make dinner; the boys still in high spirits and gearing up to party with music and beer. We played pool while Hide created another delicious meal, though we held up the group waiting to be carted off to hot tubs in the National Park. The Fantastic Four called another meeting just before leaving, Seb and Cedric wanted to stay, undoubtedly to flirt with the little, blonde things, but Hide, Danny and I went. It was a dark drive into the National Park with about 10 people from the hostel. Jumping out of the 4WD I was immediatley struck by the awesome sight of the sky, lit with the sparkle of millions and millions of stars. I have never seen so many, even in Colorado, it was simply one of the most spectacular visions. The hot tub was pretty hot, hot enough to need to sit in then out every 5 or 10 minutes. We had lots of wine and lots of chatting in the pitch dark. Wesley (hostel) explained some of the constellations, and the Southern Cross (not visible in the Northern Hemisphere) and I've certainly never seen so much of the Milky Way, which stretches almost from one side of the sky to the other it seemed. Eventually we were joined by some locals and I ended up chatting to what would be termed here as an 'Ocker Australian', i.e. a typical Aussie bloke - friendly, but unrefined, with liberal use of Aussie vernacular (strewth/cockie/raw prawn etc). He was grizzly, biker-worn, reeking of beer, but quite happy to chat away to me, telling me stories of the town etc. You've gotta love Australians, they are unendingly open and genuine.

The party continued back at the hostel until the wee hours, and I had a dumping in the pool fully clothed and a gorgeous swim and a float alone in the pool under the dark, starry skies before giving up the ghost and heading to bed, leaving the boys flirting with the Swedes...

ycattermole says:
You and your dolphins girl! read whaleback rider wilst you are out there love mum
Posted on: Feb 18, 2008
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Feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia
Feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia
Us after very little sleep, Monkey…
Us after very little sleep, Monke…
4WD to Eagle Bluff to sea sharks
4WD to Eagle Bluff to sea sharks
Hot tub in Francois Peron National…
Hot tub in Francois Peron Nationa…
Monkey Mia
photo by: rollerblading