Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday on the South China Sea

I have never had a photo challenge quite like today's.  We set sail aboard the Dolphin Watch boat and spent approximately three hours at sea in search of the endangered Chinese White Dolphins, which, as adults, are pink in color.  After an hour on the boat, and as we were approaching a small island, we were lucky enough to spot several dolphins - or the same ones over and over - it's hard to tell.  It was not as hot today as we had some protection from the sun, but it was the smoggiest day here that I have witnessed.  The mountains and other sights were difficult to see through the smog and it made for a lot of glare.

The difficult part about taking photographs today was searching for the dolphins in the vast sea through the camera's limited viewfinder. At the front of the boat was a bunch of Japanese tourists and me.  I would listen for the excitement in their voices and watch them point when they saw one and sometimes do the same for them when I was the one to spot the dolphins.  By the time I could swing my camera around, the dolphins were often back under water and there was no telling where they would emerge.  Sydney helped me spot dolphins while Skye preferred the upstairs view. As I was getting frustrated being Oh So Close to so many great photos, Sydney, trying to comfort me, said, "I bet they'll do a lot more jumping at the end." Can you tell she's only seen choreographed dolphin shows at the Shedd Aquarium?  I felt like today should have been my practice round, but unfortunately, I won't have the opportunity to try again. Good photos or not, seeing the Chinese White Dolphins in the wild was an amazing and memorable experience. We learned a lot about them and why their population is dwindling.

The boat ride itself was calm and relaxing, a perfect way to start out our Sunday.  We have crossed almost everything off of our list that we made when we first arrived. Yet, the more we see and do, the more we realize that we have barely scratched the surface of this amazing city.

The Dolphin Watch Boat.

It's hard to tell Sydney apart from the adults. She is getting so big!

As we were sailing out to sea, we saw schools of fish jumping out of the water. They put on quite a show for us.

This boat appeared as if from nowhere.  The smog played tricks on us.

We sailed right by the airport and watched several planes land.

Skye preferred the view from the upper deck of the boat.

The first sighting! We were told that this dolphin's name is Ringo due to a ring shaped design on her. The Dolphin Watch boat goes out three times a week and monitors the progress of the dolphins.

I was so close to capturing this one in mid air.

The dolphins rival the red panda for the coolest wildlife I saw here in Hong Kong.

Sydney was the official dolphin spotter.

The shot of the day.

1 comment:

  1. Great job Michelle! Looks like it was worth the wait!