Josefa bought me a gift certificate to swim with the dolphins and seals off Sorrento for my birthday. With the cruises finishing in April I took the chance over the Easter long weekend to head down to Rosebud with the family to go swimming with Flipper.
It’s been several years since I’ve been to the Mornington Penninsula. Great place, but the family always went to Phillip Island when I was younger, and now we live so close to the beach ourselves there isn’t any great reason to head down there (even if it is just 90 minutes away).
I love Sorrento and Portsea – but then again, who doesn’t? All luxury beach houses and good cafes and pine trees. Some great surf beaches too for body boarding.
We couldn’t afford the $1500 a weekend houses left in Sorrento, so settled for family friendly Rosebud. This is really for holiday makers who pitch the tent for two weeks on the foreshore. There’s not really a lot more there for holidaymakers. The penninsula gets a lot more interesting the further west you travel towards Portsea.
Spent Good Friday at Sorrento back beach with the waves hitting us pretty hard. They were breaking so close to shore I didn’t dare get the board out. Instead I held Aidan and Rosa and I raced each other in and out of the waves. Rosa got knocked down once and another wave came right over the top of her. A year ago she’d have been in tears, but she braved it out and kept going. We all wore wet suits this time. The water was pretty cold.
Saturday was dolphin swimming time. I went by myself, but there was at least thirty fellow snorkellors with me. Too busy – I didn’t really think about how busy the beach gets around Easter. We spent the first ninety minutes chasing the poor dolphin pods around as the first ten swimmers got ready, dove in, got out again really quickly…and that was it! Two minutes with the dolphins.
I was really lucky as on my turn two of the dolphins broke off from their pod and swam underneath me for a minute before shooting off. Everyone was oohing and aahing when the first dolphins broke the water. Only dolphins do this. And whales. Then we realised Port Phillip Bay is full of them, and we got used to seeing the pods shooting across towards Queenscliff and put our cameras back in the bags.
Much more fun was the seals, stinky though they were. They were friendly, swimming underneath and around all of us snorkellers. You could have given them a scratch under then chin, but as they showed when they gave each other slaps and bites, probably not a good idea.
Lot of Chinese and Indian students on board, many with questionable swimming skills. Fairly rough and fast tide out there, so many felt more comfortable holding on to the safety bouys tied to the boat. One girl panicked and wouldn’t let go of the boat. It was a bit of shock jumping into the water at first. You can’t see the bottom, the water was cold and it was so easy to drift away from the boat.
In the end, it was really cool to swim with the seals and fish – must head up to Queensland to the Barrier Reef as soon as I can.
The weather turned on Sunday, so we did the Penninsula thing and went to the fun fair at Rye that I’m sure I went to twenty five years ago. I remember seeing Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back at the cinema in Rosebud – the first time I was allowed to go without the parents. Good memories of Morington, continued on with a relaxing Easter.