Writer/Blogger, aspiring published author
Can usually be found on the floor with my two boys laughing, photographing something or dragging home furniture to up cycle.
Published May 13th 2012
Each year for Mother's Day, I usually divide up the weekend so that I can spend quality time with my mother and she can go and have one on one quality time with her mother.
I am not one for giving stereotypical presents for the sake of giving presents. I get irritated by those (my partner included) who assume that because a mother is a woman, all she enjoys is bath and body products.
I have since become a fan of the "experience" present. These kinds of presents allow you to give a gift that no one else can offer and can also be done in conjunction of spending some quality time with someone.
This Mother's Day, I decided that instead of providing my mother with another trinket that collects dust, or putting her health at risk with another non diabetic friendly lunch out, I would purchase an experience that her and I could do together.
The booking process was very easy with payment options of credit card or BPay. I chose what is known as the online E Voucher and it was sent to me within 10 minutes of my purchase. Once I received the voucher I clicked on the link which takes me to the site to redeem the vouchers and book with the company.
Once booked the company sends you a confirmation letter including details of arrival time and things you may need to bring, which you print and take with you to the experience.
Mum and I arrived just in time for the safety briefing session on the Temptation Catamaran in the Glenelg Marina. We were told to take a seat on the front of the boat which is basically a flat deck with some trampoline mat at the front to rest your feet on.
On this tour are both dolphin watchers and those that have opted to swim with the wild dolphins. If you are going to swim with the dolphins, I advise to those people not to be late as you will be needing the time to put on the attractive wetsuits and ensure you understand the clear guidelines and code of conduct for the experience. While this experience says "swimming with dolphins," under no circumstances are you actually allowed to touch the dolphins.
Even for non boat lovers like my mum and I, we were pleasantly surprised at the smooth travel on the catamaran out into Glenelg Bay. Within fifteen minutes of exiting the marina we saw our first pod of dolphins surfacing the water. This particular tour 100% guarantees the sighting of dolphins every trip.
Moving along and sighting our second pod of dolphins the engine was shut off and the swimmers entered the water. All swimmers slide off the back of the boat and hold a floatation rope so that they all stay together to observe the dolphins under water.
One thing that did impress me is that the company has three lines of shark deterrent ropes which emit an electrical signal designed to propel the sharks away, making the experience feel that little bit safer.
Even though Mum and I were only watching, there were plenty of vantage points and you were able to move about the boat quite freely in order to achieve the best position for your photos, however you do require a bit of good personal balance as there is not much to hold on to, to steady yourself!
Throughout the trip the swimmers got in and out of the water several times depending on how interested the dolphins were in them. The feedback from all the swimmers was that the experience was "amazing."
Some things to consider when choosing to go on this cruise that I would recommend are;
Dress warmly. Even if it is in summer layer your clothes as the ocean does give off a nice chill.
Expect to get wet whether it's from rain or ocean spray. You can go under the deck however it limits your viewing of the dolphins.
No food or drink is provided on the cruise so consider packing a flask of coffee or some snacks.
Wear closed flat shoes.
Take a cushion to sit on if cooler weather as deck can be cold on your derriθre.
Camera strap so it doesn't go overboard.
Have all your belongings in a securely zipped bag that stands properly because if it goes sliding it will go straight through the wire rails on the side of the boat and you won't get it back.
If you are swimming consider a towelled dressing gown for in between swims as it can get very chilly waiting in a wet wetsuit.
There are toilets on board the boat.
Take some cash in case you wish to purchase a USB of photos that record the experience. Currently costing $25.
While this tour allows children it is possibly not suited for young children due to the lack of safety barriers on the boat. Children under the age of eight are not allowed to swim with the dolphins.
Part proceeds from the tour assist Adelaide Coastal Dolphin Research
I can say that Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were touched by the professionalism and passion that the skipper and his staff including experience photographers displayed for the tour and the conservation of these beautiful creatures. This dolphin cruise as a swimmer or a spectator is definitely something I would recommend for others to do.