Tuesday, March 3, 2020

March 3rd – (Not) Spotting Dolphins in Moorea

Today the rain finally relented so we got to see French Polynesia (and for me, it’s most attractive island) at its best.

We joined a “Dolphin Spotting” Tour that promised to take us to see some of the 160 or so resident spinner dolphin that spend their day inside Moorea’s lagoon. The dolphins go out into the ocean at night to feed, but we were reliably informed by Dr Poole (the island’s resident dolphin expert) that they were out there somewhere. He told us that 95% of his dolphin spotting trips get to see them in the lagoon, and seeing as an earlier trip hadn’t got to see them, then our chances had to be pretty high. Wrong….

As we zoomed around Moorea’s beautiful lagoon, try as we might, we just couldn’t find them. We stopped at all the passes between ocean and lagoon where they like to hang out, but they weren’t playing ball. We saw a turtle, plenty of floating coconuts that were mistaken by our eager eyes for dolphins, and Tracy did spot a leaping fish – but no dolphins.

Dr Poole gave us lots of fascinating information about the island and about its ecology, but he seemed to get slightly tetchy at the lack of actual dolphins. However, the sheer gorgeousness of the lagoon, with the seas in all shades of turquoises and blues just about made up for the absence of flipper and his friends.

If you were desperate to see dolphins, this trip would have been a slight disappointment; but if you took it as a way to see some stunning landscapes and enjoy some great views of the island from all angles, then Moorea has scarcely looked better.