Because I miss home…
The link is a video taken last May 2010 during our dolphin watching at the Puerto Princesa Bay. I am a local of Puerto Princesa but last May was my first time to see these magnificent creatures out on the waters of our city. My friends and I showed up at the Baywalk at around 6:30 am, just in time to enjoy the sunrise. I walked along the bay and tried to figure out where the boat for the dolphin watching is parked. It wasn’t hard to locate, since the boat was the only place with people milling about at that early hour.
As the tour started (around 7am), I enjoyed basking in the early morning sun during the 30-minute to 1-hour boat ride to where the dolphins are. I took pleasure in the beautiful view of the blue and calm waters, feeling the sea breeze on my face.
The tour guide explained that we would see spinner dolphins (local name lumba lumba), which is very common in Puerto Princesa waters. For a long time, the local fishermen thought of these dolphins as a nuisance, since they usually eat the bait that was intended for catching tuna and other bigger fishes. Dolphins getting trapped in the fishing nets used to be a common problem. Now that there are dolphin-watching tours in the bay, the fisher folk earn a little extra from dolphin spotting. They are the ones who send SMS messages to the tour guides on the locations of the dolphins. Together with the local government and concerned individuals, the fishermen of Puerto Princesa Bay are helping in the conservation efforts for the spinner dolphins.
When we finally saw them, I was taken by surprise. In my mind, when they said “dolphin watching”, I thought I would be seeing five dolphins at a time (like in the dolphin shows). I was really taken aback by the number of dolphins that I saw! There were just so many!
The dolphins were very playful! They ride with the waves that the boat makes. The dolphins are so close I can almost touch them (but of course, I didn’t :p)!
If you want to see the spinner dolphins swim, play and do somersaults, just show up at the Baywalk of Puerto Princesa at around 6 am and look for the boats along the bay (we paid Php 700/person at that time). However, this method might not be reliable as you cannot be guaranteed a space in the boat if you did not talk to them ahead of time, so it might be better to contact a travel agency (Tour Package rate: Php 900/person). You can find a list of the travel agents in Puerto Princesa here. They have uniform rates. This tour is ideal on the day of an afternoon return flight, as the tour is usually finished before 11 am.