Having lived in Adelaide all my life, it was finally time to test out the Temptation Sailing Dolphin Swim/Watch that I had been hearing about throughout the last few years. Heading down to the Holdfast Shores Marina at 7.20am on a Sunday was definitely worth it, as the glassy water of the marina painted the scene for a very calm day on the waters.
After being greeted by a lovely volunteer/dolphin-enthusiast named Barb, we were lead on board one-by-one to show our tickets and collect our wetsuits; then, we set-sail.
Relaxing at the front of the catamaran in the sun was the perfect way to begin my Sunday morning, with the coast of Glenelg passing on one side, and the endless horizon of the ocean on the other. First heading South to scout for dolphins, the sun had well and truly risen by that time, making the water turn crystal clear, and easier to spot the dolphins.
After having no luck heading South, we quickly turned around and sailed North. After 10 minutes of sailing time, one of the crew members finally spotted a pod of five bottlenose dolphins. These dolphins vary in colour from slate grey, to light grey on the upper parts of the body, and shading to white under the belly. (The shade of a dolphin is one way of telling dolphins apart.) Full grown, they can vary to around 2.8m and weigh as much as 270kg. Their diet consists of fish and squid, and they consume approximately 8kg per day. In-between eating, hunting and travelling, dolphins love to have fun – they have a very interesting life! Dolphins are very intelligent creatures, and with that, all they want to do is play and have ‘intimate relations’ with each each other, they are the only other species besides humans that do so. Funnily enough (and to the hilarity of the crew members and the people on board), that’s what the group of five dolphins were doing.
“Swimmers ready.”……”Swimmers in!” and after the crew member called, we slid into the water four at a time, and held onto the buoys along the ropes trailing behind the stern of the catamaran. (Also for added security for anyone (and everyone) who’s petrified of sharks (and in their 12 years of sailing they’ve seen one shark) at the end of the buoys they use Shark Shields™, which project a signal in the water to ward off sharks, and does nothing to the dolphins). After realising there was a group of about 35 people watching them, they eventually swam close to us, said a quick hello and swam off again.
Leaving them to their business as they were quite entertained by themselves, we hopped out the water and continued to head north.
Our second encounter with some dolphins was with a pod of around six, including a mother with her three month old baby. These dolphins were incredibly sociable, swimming to the front of the catamaran and riding the tiny wakes for a small while.
Whistling crew members with their dolphin-like tunes encouraged them to keep playing, which resulted in most of the dolphins swimming very close to the catamaran. What was so beautiful about these delicate creatures, was their ability to enamour a person watching them by simply swimming by. With their graceful dancing above and underwater, the sun sparkles off their skin so elegantly it’s almost mesmerising.
With Temptation Sailing the only charter boat licensed to watch and interact with dolphins, a dolphin swim and watch will set you back around $98 per adult, and $88 per child 8-15. Alternatively you can just enjoy the 3.5 hour cruise and watch the dolphins for $68 per adult and $58 per child. What is also good to note is their money back guarantee if you pay for the swim but decide against it on the cruise for whatever reason (Direct bookings only, unless otherwise specified).
For anyone who has lived in Adelaide and never tried this before but have wanted to, I definitely recommend you do. The lovely crew members make it an enjoyable cruise, and they’re there to not only make it a memorable one but to also inform and educate you. Anything you want to know about dolphins, they can tell you; with dedicated marine biologists and their happy-go-lucky companion dolphin watcher masters (haha), it will surely be a cruise you won’t forget.
About Temptation Sailing
‘Temptation’ is a 58ft x 32 ft aluminium high performance sailing catamaran, which was built by the owner/operator in Adelaide, South Australia.
Temptation is not designed as a commercial vessel but a passenger charter vessel. She is twice as wide as most vessels her size, this means greater stability and is designed to cut through water, rather then bouncing over them, all this adds up to a smoother cruise. She has only small engines (2 x 37.5hp) and uses her sails on most cruises, this limits the diesel fumes. Temptation also uses Bio diesel fuel, limiting one of the main reasons of sea-sickness – Diesel fumes.
She is survey registered to hold 50 day passengers or sleep 19 overnight and can travel anywhere in the world, making her an extremely stable vessel in SA waters.
Berthed at Adelaide’s favourite beach resort, Glenelg, where a wide range of cafes and restaurants are just steps from the boarding berth. A perfect site for special occasions and leaving for magical experiences with one of nature’s most intelligent creatures, the dolphin.
Operating short cruises from the Marina PierHoldfast Shores Marina, Glenelg, sailing has never been this accessable in South Australia.
To provide a 100% ‘Wild’ dolphin encounter, that doesn’t impact the environment or alter the dolphin’s natural behaviour.
To educate customers on dolphin conservation and teaching them to respect dolphins’ habitat.
To offset 100% of Temptation Sailing carbon emissions by 2016.
To ensure Temptation Sailing and staff members conduct tours in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Temptation Sailing to conduct research on every dolphin swim and watch tour to monitor dolphin numbers, location and behaviour. This information can be used to assist with further dolphin conservation projects.
What They Offer
Public Cruise Price Range from $16.00 – $24.00
During the cruise you have a good chance of seeing dolphins frolicking around the hulls. A fully licensed bar is open during the cruise.