Tag Archive: Dolphin Watching


Bikini Sandbar or Island?


We signed up with Bikini Island Club for dolphin-watching, fish feeding, snorkelling and a visit to the Bikini Island which is really a sandbar right in the middle of the sea that becomes an island at low tide. At the time we visited, the tide wasn’t low enough to reveal the island but we had fun walking around and checking out the swing and hut. Our guide John Oh (yes, he’s Korean but claims to be 1/3 Chamorro) pointed out the sandbar while he tied our boat, reminding only of the slightest safety tips. Bikini Island is only a few swim laps for the pros to nearby Cocos Island, and is the highlight of this adventure trip. We saw no dolphins but found some turtles and John fed the fish as we went snorkelling around the boat.

Sailing Towards Bikini Island.
If those waters are a meter lower, you’d find us seated on a swing.

It would have been fun to see dolphins but I say driving the boat (without a license) is more fun. My niece took 2 turns to manoeuvre the boat and John was very accommodating. On our return trip, we were just so sapped of energy that we hardly noticed the bumpy ride and the sweltering heat. By the time we got back, we were eager to hit the showers and change into dry clothes. Frankly, I envy the young ones who can do another hour of jet skiing — and in that heat! The day’s clients were mostly Koreans and Japanese. The rates are pricier than what we’d find back home, but for these Japanese and Koreans, they must be cheaper.

Each one of us claimed the captain’s seat.

Guam is such a tiny island and the island life hits you in an instant as does the tropical clime. Laid back and relaxing. If you’re not out driving around to check out war memorial parks, old forts and other war monuments and shrines, you’re likely shopping or waiting for the breathtaking sunsets. The more adventurous ones will hit the beach and engage in the typical water sports. Bikini Island easily lands in any one’s list. Whatever you do, make sure you slather tons of sunblock. The heat is intense!

Snorkelling

The gods smiled on us. After some rainshowers the first 2 days in Dumaguete, the bright sun and clear skies looked promising as we sailed from Bais wharf towards that area straddling between Cebu and Negros. Our boat — good for 15 pax — served all 4 of us well. We loved the “space”, allowing us to run up front, to the left or right sides of the boat, even to lie down on the long benches while the boat crew navigate along the Strait searching for pods of playful dolphins.

 

 

 

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Our boat sailed out of Bais Wharf, an hour’s drive north of Dumaguete City.

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If you’re lucky, you’d see dolphins near Manjuyod Sandbar just 10-15 minutes from the wharf.


 

The deep blue waters of Bais Bay and Tañon Strait is home to these intelligent mammals. I shrieked in delight as soon as I spotted some spinner dolphins playfully showing off from a distance. And these dolphins looked just as happy seeing us and swimming alongside our boat. Like children showing off their talents. Or like marine escorts leading us to more of their friends!

 

 

 

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Playful, Intelligent Mammals in their very playground!

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Dolphins, blue waters and blue-polished toenails 😉


 

None of us were fast enough to take a decent shot of those dolphins jumping up and out of the water. But it was still an awesome (pardon the overused word) animal adventure for us. Mimicking dolphin sounds, we enjoyed schools of them in the calm waters of the bay and further along Tañon Strait. Surely, this is their playground!

 

 

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What a show off!

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Swimming alongside of our boat, like marine escorts!

 

 

The strait spans 5 kilometers to as wide as 27 kilometers between Negros Oriental and Cebu provinces. But it was in the deep, wide sections of the Strait where we found more dolphins. No luck with the pygmy sperm whales, but the many show-off dolphins made up for the whales’ absence. What a thrill!

 

 

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Glistening in the blue waters of Tañon Strait.

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Up front, left and right of the boat. They’re everywhere!

 

 

Travel Tips: Go early and catch them dolphins during their feeding time. From Dumaguete, we drove less than an hour to Bais and took a boat. If the tide’s low, best to stop by Manjuyod Sandbar just 10-15 minutes boat ride from the wharf. If you’re lucky, you can already spot some dolphins here. Further on, you’d be literally surrounded by these far-from-shy creatures. As happy as can be. Them and you. Surely, Negros is so blessed with nature’s bounty!

 

 

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Dolphins in the wilds. Far from shy.