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While eating breakfast one morning in Trincomalee a Dutch couple returned to the hotel full of smiles. They had just taken an early morning boat trip and had seen lots of dolphins out at sea. “There are so many of them!”. Up until now we had not thought of dolphin watching in Sri Lanka.
Mum’s eyes lit up! We knew that she would want to do the trip, but what about the kids? Our son was keen but our daughter was not too convinced. Eventually she decided that she would like to see dolphins too and we made the arrangements for the following morning and haggled with the price a bit.
At 6am the next day the small boat made its way to the beach outside the amazing Dyke Rest guesthouse to pick us up. We all put on our life jackets and got into the boat. The kids sat at the front on two plastic chairs attached to a bench. Mum and Dad sat on similar chairs behind them and we set off over the calm water, the sun rising in the background and all excited.
As the boat left the bay and entered open sea the big swells came. The wind was up and we were going against the waves which meant each time a large swell came the boat would crash down on the sea. At this point Mum’s excitement vanished and turned to fear, mainly for the kid’s safety! They were oblivious to the danger though and were holding on to their seats as instructed. Dad yelled “Big wave!” each time he could see the boat was going to be tossed about. The man in charge of the boat knew what he was doing though and dealt with each wave well.
There was only one exception to this. The boat had turned parallel to the waves and he engaged the engine too much as a huge wave came out of nowhere. He realised his mistake quickly and cut the engine but the force of the wave and the engine tipped the boat at an alarming angle. Everything in the boat slid to one side but somehow the kids had managed to remain seated! This was the final straw for Mum. She turned and asked the man to just take us back. As he turned the boat around to go with the wind he suddenly accelerated. We looked up and saw a pod of dolphins ahead. Jumping, twisting and splashing down into the water with ease. All fear went and for the next ten minutes we simply enjoyed the show the wild dolphins were putting on for us.
After a few minutes of not seeing any dolphins we asked again to go back to the beach. We left the dolphins behind and made our way back to the stretch of beach we were calling home. Excited to have seen the dolphins, but with Mum a little shook up from the open waters and what could have happened to the kids.