Tuesday, October 25, 2011


A highlight of our Saturday adventures Down Under was our journey by train to Rockingham about 45 minutes south of Perth early in October. Our destination was Penguin Island, a 5 minute boat ride off the coast.

The island is home to around 1200 “little penguins” – the smallest species in the world. They are naturally shy and spend most daylight hours feeding at sea or hidden away in burrows. At the Penguin Discovery Centre, we watched the daily feeding of a dozen little penguins housed there.

The park abounds with other wildlife, including wild dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, pelicans, and over 50 species of seabirds.

The baby terns had just hatched and were being watched over carefully by their mothers.

We had a fascinating experience in the glass bottom boat trip around Penguin Island and Seal Island. As we pulled away from the Penguin Island Dock, the skipper played the theme song from Gilligan's Island over the speakers. We all chuckled at its implications. After setting sail, we saw many pelicans and other seabirds. The sea lions had finished eating and were having their beauty sleep on the beach.

We did manage to awaken them long enough to get this picture.

We then turned to the seaward side of the island in search of the dolphins. The boat captain finally found a pod of dolphins (about a dozen) who wanted to play. The captain enticed them to wave surf alongside the boat. This time a chose to play "Surfin' USA." We were so enthralled with watching the dolphins surf the wake of the boat that we were unable to get a good picture of them. But for us it was the climax of the day’s adventures. It was amazing. As we approached the island jetty at the end of our boat tour, he played "Yellow Submarine" and everyone enjoyed singing along with the music.

The island, the color of the water, and the blue sky were too beautiful for words.

Reluctantly, we made our way back to the jetty for the brief return trip to the Rockingham shore.

No comments: