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Monkey Mia

Written on: Friday September 26th, 2008

A journal entry from: Around The World Without A Plane

Another big drive taken up with silly games and making cheese and ham sandwiches and we arrived late in the afternoon at the circus show that is the Monkey Mia resort. This extensive development exists purely to accommodate the hordes who come en mass to witness the only place in the world where bottlenose dolphins roll up to the shoreline daily to actually freely interact with us humans. We had assumed that Monkey Mia was a town, but it is literally an area to stop overnight and to get up at the crack of dawn to fight your way to a decent vantage point to watch these confident, entertaining animals from. There is absolutely nothing else here, other than the end of the Shark Bay peninsula. The names of these places are all a bit confusing. For a start Monkey Mia had me thinking that there might be some sort of jungle here with a group of rebel orang-utans putting on an Abba musical nightly, then it's a touch ironic that in a bay named after the deadliest fish that swim in our oceans live vast number of dolphins who if anything tend to be thought of as Great White fodder. Rather disappointingly there was no swinging through the trees renditions of Waterloo and no Jaws carnage scenes. What we did get to see though was equally extraordinary.We had rocked up to the shoreline in our swimmers just after sunrise, but there was already a crowd of about 60 people gathered, which very quickly doubled. I didn't think there were that many people in the whole of Western Australia; this must be where they all hide out. Anyhow we had wrongly assumed we'd be able to go in the water and frolic with Flipper and his mates but you're limited to standing on the edge of the shoreline, while those that work at the resort wade knee-deep in to the water and feed the dolphins fish from a bucket. If you're lucky enough or under the age of 8 you might get the opportunity to hand feed a dolphin yourself; sadly we were neither. It was however very cool to see 7 dolphins swim right up in to the shallows and twist and turn splashing water up in to the air in expectation of their feed. I know there are now countless places around the world where you can actively swim with and feed dolphins but as far as I'm aware they all feature dolphins that are kept in captivity rather than ones like these that happily wander up to the ocean's edge to cause a great big fuss all because they simply want to.