Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rockingham and NYE

After a day spent inland going north, it was time to do the complete opposite. We drove south about 45 minutes to the small town of Rockingham. It's basically a little inlet that shoots into the bay, and has a ton of water activities. The one we had come for was the all-day Swimming with Dolphins tour. I mean, how can you resist that? The only downside is that the boat is not very baby friendly, so we had to leave Immy at home. Fortunately, Tina was more than happy to spend all day alone with her bouncing, smiling granddaughter. Here are the four of us, fresh on the boat and excited to go see some dolphins!

Look, there's one! Super close, too.

We weren't really sure what to expect by this tour. We figured maybe we see a dolphin or two in the distance, maybe we don't see any, but man we were blown away. We saw dolphins right and left, and just all over the place, within feet of us. Here's a whole family just hanging out.

Strangely for an Australian organized tour group, this tour was meticulously organized. They split the boat into about six different color groups, with three groups out in the water at a time. They had us get in a line and hold on to the person's belt in front of you with the lead guide doing the swimming. The rest of us were kind of just pulled along behind, so we could focus on looking for and taking pictures of the dolphins. It also ensured there weren't sixty people splashing in the water at once scaring off the dolphins. Smart.

This guide had clearly scored the coolest job lottery. She had one of those personal water motors and she just swam down and played with the dolphins to keep them interested and around. Best job ever, right? We're also pretty sure that her great grandmother was probably a dolphin because she was an insanely good swimmer and could hold her breath forever. She was just using a snorkel and went down pretty deep and stayed down for several minutes at a time. Impressive.

At one point the boat found a pack of roving male dolphins, so we decided to have some fun. They kicked the motor in gear and tore off, creating a big wake behind us. The dolphins swam up alongside and used the wave created by the wake to "surf." Apparently this only works when it's a group of males- they all get excited and try to out do each other. Boys!

Here we are modeling the latest in wetsuit fashion.

We had a great day. If you are ever in Western Australia, definitely take a day and go down to Rockingham for the dolphin tours. It was amazing!

That day also happened to be December 31st- man this year has just flown by. Fortunately, Olivia and Tina had bought Immy an outfit for the night. She was ready to party in style!

We went out to one of the local pubs for a nice, laid-back dinner. They still had their Christmas tree up, so Immy got a chance to model her fancy dress with the grandparents.

After pictures it was sleepytime. No midnight celebration for Immy, too sleepy. See you in 2013, guys.


After dinner, Greg, Laurel, and Olivia went out to the harbor area of Fremantle to check out the New Year's Eve nightlife. We ended up at the Little Creatures brewpup for a couple drinks, and during that a street drum crew showed up to entertain the guests. It was pretty awesome. Now, since we just had a baby, we definitely did not make it to midnight. In bed by eleven, we're so wild and crazy. Olivia stayed up to watch the fireworks on TV, but fell asleep on the couch at 11:52. Fail. We're going to blame our collective lameness on Perth's 3 hour later timezone.


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