Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Magical Trip

I’ve had the most wonderful weekend – not only did we spend it with our closest friends (J&J)who only visit Portugal two of three times a year, we also went out on the most amazing boat trip.
I had won the boat trip at a raffle at a charity fashion show that was held late last year, and as it was for four of us, we were keen to wait for J&J to come back over when the weather was good.
The weather was beautiful – perfect for a boat trip. But this was a boat trip with a difference. It was to go and see the Algarve’s dolphins. Are you surprised? Didn’t you think there were dolphins in the Algarve? Well, there are. There are loads of them.
Magical creatures, to say the least, the Common Dolphins surrounded us 15 minutes after we left Lagos Marina. We counted about 18 of them and they swam excitedly around the rigid inflatable boat – almost inviting us to swim with them. Had it been a hot August day, I would have been easily tempted (albeit, I wouldn’t have given in to temptation because I’m not very fond of the sea, especially when you can’t see or stand on the bottom).
We stayed with them for some time, enjoying the company of these exceptional creatures, watching them in a daze, mesmerised at their beauty and fun-loving temperaments. After a while, it was time to start heading back so turning around, the dolphins followed us closely. Even as we sped up, they also sped up, speeding at high velocity. It was if they were saying, ‘don’t go, stay and play some more!’ Eventually they let us go on our way and slowed down.
However just a few kilometres later we came across another pod, this time there seemed to be more youngsters among them. They were just as beautiful and we were keen to stay but our trip was coming to an end so we said our goodbyes (mentally, not verbally, of course) and went on our way. In total, we saw about five groups of them – all within about 8kms of the coast. It was mesmerising to see so many of these incredible creatures in their natural habitat and I almost felt like a child again (well…. It wasn’t THAT long ago!).
Our trip was courtesy of Bom Dia / Algarve Dolphins, who were fantastic. Really friendly and helpful and if I ever wanted to go on such a trip again, I would certainly use their services.
Normally I am quite nervous on board any kind of vessel smaller than your average ferry, however, this time I felt totally at ease the whole time we were out at sea. It appears that my sea legs are finally beginning to grow!