Today’s adventure in Mauritius was a dolphin adventure. While the hotel offered something, the partner that operates the water sports (which have been fairly good) offered one as well that was cheaper (and via boat vs. taxi) so we figured we’d aim for boat and less expense.
We were told to meet on the peer at 8:20 AM and we arrived and saw no one and nothing. About 10 minutes later, someone came down the road and invited us into the car to go and meet the boat. We picked up a few folks along the way and eventually found ourselves on a beach split into 3 groups – 1 for each speed boat and 1 for the catamaran.
After finding our speed boat, we assumed positions on the bow and were enjoying the quick and bumpy ride to an unknown destination. Of the 12 passengers on the boat, we were the only 2 that required English. The Captain, although he could speak both, commented that since nearly everyone was French he’d not be speaking in much English but we could ask questions when needed.
Before we knew what was happening, we had pulled up to a group of 7 boats or so and they handed out snorkeling equipment and said jump in. Apparently, as we learned in the moment, the dolphin adventure meant we’d find a pod of dolphins and you’d then jump in and swim next to them. The first attempt was an utter failure- they didn’t have enough snorkels so I had no chance of keeping up with them and neither Debbie nor I saw anything.
We all got back in the boat and tried to follow the pod. After finding them again, we jumped in again and to no avail. The waves were massive and without life jackets we were both very tired trying to swim and follow them. On round 3, Debbie decided to take a breather and I got the snorkel and followed the crowd in. Thankfully (for me, a shame for Debbie), this time we found the dolphins. While everyone could see the pod coming up for air, for maybe 2 minutes or so I was swimming over them while they were swimming in the pod under water – likely about 30 or so (that i could see) swimming in their lines below the water.
We got back in the boat to go for round 4 but similar to 1 and 2, Debbie and I couldn’t see anything. Even though we were only successful seeing the dolphins under water one time, we saw tons of dolphins on the journey coming up for air and have never been so close- safari style. The boat continued along for another hour or so to our planned fish/coral snorkel spot but the swells also cancelled this activity. We made our way to to the beach meeting point which was alongside Krystal Rock- a famous spot in Mauritius for it being a tiny little island of coral above the water.
After taking a bunch of pictures, we beached the boat and had some time to explore the area before lunch. This was our first trip out of the hotel on Mauritius and we were met very quickly by multiple folks trying to sell you stuff you don’t need- sea shells, flavored rum, Jamaican music, the attempts didn’t stop for the 2-3 hours we were there. The 10 French folks that we were with decided to tie one on here on the island – crushing all of the rum that we had as well as the mixed beverages provided (two of the women in the group later couldn’t stand up and were falling down trying to walk back to the boat).
The crew prepared a nice feast of food for us all over some empty drums of what was surely a FDA approved cooking site. The feast consisted of chicken, fish, and various other sides and actually ended up being pretty good. We made our way back to the boat for the 75 minute bumpy speed boat ride back up the coast to the hotel.
After arriving a little more sun-burned then we had departed, we rested and cleaned up for the Marriott appreciation event at the hotel. We made our way over to the meeting point only to discover that the event had been rescheduled to tomorrow and we didn’t get that memo. Instead, we had our final dinner at the hotel at the buffet (and may or may not have gotten it for free, TBD on that one until tomorrow when we check out) before heading back to the room and going to bed early after being in the sun all day.
Tomorrow marks the end to our first Mauritian adventure – we plan to spend the AM attempting to get one of us up on skis (or fall 10 times trying) before leaving around 1 pm for the airport and a brief lay-over in Joburg before the HoneyMeyers leave Africa and make our way up to the Middle East.