We had a guest lecturer yesterday, and we learnt about…jeng jeng jeng jeng….obituaries. Haha. What an entertainer that guy was. I quote him:

People don’t pass away. They don’t go to heaven. They don’t ‘answer a telephone call from Jesus’, as I once saw in an American magazine. They DIE, DIE, DIE! It’s a good word to use, they DIE!

Hilarious! He told us about embarrassing and horrifying blunders he made (getting a famous person’s name wrong…imagine facing the family), wrong captions to wrong pictures, and obituaries printed before the person died. :D. Apparently, ‘well-known’ and ‘he will be missed’ are phrases to be avoided at all costs as well.

Not easy huh. To bring the person to life through little anecdotes as compared to writing a CV of the person’s life, while maintaining a healthy distance and not getting caught up in those ‘best father in the world’ emotions. Not easy at all.

Anyway, I was asked to write this to promote Toms Tours. It was tricky because kayaking is not my favourite activity–give me a jet ski anytime! Took me awhile to find a suitable angle. Still, it’s done so…enjoy! 🙂

No one told me that wild dolphins rarely ever do a full body leap out of the water. Zoos and television taught me otherwise.

Neither did I know that ‘Dolphin Tours’ could sometimes only mean spotting the fins of dolphins making rare appearances in the sea. If you’re terribly unlucky, you might not see them at all.

But when I managed to cast aside my see-all, do-all, inner tourist, I found myself enjoying a spectacular day at the Dolphin Sanctuary, soaking in the beauty of rich marine life and mangrove forests.

I even discovered that humans are not the only specimens with graveyards.

It all began when the Kanga ‘Kan Get You There’ van pulled up in front of 115 Grenfell Street, and I hopped in, along with a motley of French tourists and international exchange students. Tom from Toms Tours greeted us with an affable smile and sped us off to our destination.

Upon reaching Largs Bay, those who wanted to go for a dip skipped off to do so, while an authentic Australian Barbie cooked on the pit (included in the $65 tour package courtesy of Tom). Stuffed with sausages, fries, salad, and fruit, we were all primed for the highlight of our day: kayaking among dolphins and visiting the Ships’ Graveyard.

We launched out in our kayaks, our eyes focused on the vast expanse of blue all around us; hoping for a little splash, a glimpse of grayish skin, the sight of a bottlenose dolphin. I hoped that at least a few of the 250 dolphins identified in and around the area would make their grand appearance, but we had no luck. Initially, none of them came across my line of vision, not even one of the 30 permanent residents of Dolphin Sanctuary.

A yellow kayak paying respects to its ancestors.

As we kayaked out further into the underworld, I saw why the Ships’ Graveyards maintained its intrigue. The first ever ship to be made from steel, now 170 years old, lay forlornly in the water, a nice juxtaposition to the lush mangrove forests all around. An aura of quiet majesty surrounded the wreckage. Garden Island, one of the five abandonment sites in Port Adelaide held at least 25 vessels known to have been scuttled in the area between 1909 and 1945. I wish we could have seen all 25 vessels, but our arms were protesting and there wasn’t enough time left.

As we paddled back, my only remaining wish was for a dolphin to make a graceful appearance.

I had almost given up when Tom said it was time to hop into the Kanga van again.

Then, out of the blue, someone from the jetty yelled for us to come over. I arrived just in time to see the fins of a mother and child, swimming in tandem, slicing through the azure sea.

I looked on in wide-eyed wonder and smiled, knowing it was Mother Nature’s gift to me. The job of documenting the trip in pictures was left forgotten.