Magic in the Sea

Cruising on the sea...OK, I am exaggerating. You can't call it a cruise if it's not a big covered boat (which bears some resemblance to a cruise ship), but then again who's to say what you call a cruise and what not? I think in most seaside towns, you can see one 'cruise' or another. Sunset cruise, River cruise, Dolphin cruise. There's even the 'dinner cruise' in European towns where there are rivers and canals meandering through them. Of course, I can't talk about cruises without mentioning Goa. Or shall I say Panjim. The majestic Mandovi river flows through Panjim and meets the Arabian sea near Miramar Beach. Needless to say, there are plenty of (very popular) cruises to be found here.

In Goa (and I did not know this for a long time) wild sea dolphins come very close to the mainland seashore. So a cruise here is the Dolphin Cruise, where for an amount of money (that might get you an evening buffet in a five star restaurant) you can venture out into the sea and watch dolphins in their natural habitat. Now, I had the honour of going on a private Dolphin Cruise. How? That I am not at a liberty to say but it was one the very best cruises I have ever been on.

I did not know what I was going to see, I had never seen dolphins in the wild. I have seen all other kinds in amusement parks and island resorts. Around midday, we set from Dona Paula, out into the sea and went a couple of kilometers. We were told that it was the area where the dolphins usually moved around. The person who had come along with us said that they move closer to the shore in the evenings (but told us in advance that there was a possibility of us not seeing the dolphins at all!).

We waited in patience. We tried to keep a 360 degree watch so that we could spot the dolphins. We could sea far into the sea; ships, tankers, barges and boats, but there was no sign of the dolphins. We changed direction and still waited.

And out of nowhere they were just there. First one, then a pair, and then a number of them swimming all around us. Moving in and out of the water. Baby dolphins playing with the other adult dolphins. Their gray coats shining in the water. All moving in a single direction. Spraying water. Seemingly unaware of our presence. The sight was stunning. Nature's beauty in the sea just astounds you.

These dolphins are very hard to photograph because you never know where they'll come next. But once you see them, photography really isn't the first thing on your mind. Next time you are in Goa, make sure you go on this cruise...  It really is like Magic...


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