Dolphins, Cruises and weather updates 14/01/11

Dolphin watching in the bay:

Pods of dolphins have been sighted all around the eastern harbor last week and most of the big female groups have calves. Sightings are good and as there are lots of bait fish around fishing behavior is common and with the boat traffic dropping off they seem a little more relaxed. Check out little Rocky the orphan male dolphin that has made the Marina home, this little guy now around 3 years old almost certainly lost his mum 1 ½ years ago and just started hanging out inside and around the Marina breakwaters. He is like the ambassador of the bay and can often be seen from the docks, fishing around the berthed boats and cruising around the marina entrance.

Snorkeling Cruise:

We have been very very lucky in the Port Stephens so far this year, despite the deluging rain and floods further to our north, the light rain we experienced earlier this week has not muddied the waters of the bay or offshore to spoil the visibility on the Snorkeling cruise. Our happy guests are amazed at the variety of fish species they have seen and the island coves where we anchor up to snorkel provide calm waters and shelter from the prevailing breezes. The sailing has been great and the seas warm for swimming.

Sunset dinner Cruise:

Although we haven’t seen as many sunsets as we would like over the last week, most people who have braved the often damp evenings have given this cruise rave reviews. The ability to have a sail and a dip at sunset while waiting for the BBQ dinner to cook, or simply lay back in the bow net with a champers has proven to be a winner. BBQ Prawns and fish in a Cognac sauce on a bed of mash and rocket with a crusty bread roll followed by French Vanilla cheesecake with berries, and all for just $35 per adult or $100 for a family of 4, this has got to be the best value dinner cruise on the east coast!

Swim with Dolphins:

We operated swims with big pods of Common dolphins on both Saturday and Sunday last week and both times the dolphins were very interactive and with clear water the vis was great and the experience mind blowing. Check out pics and videos on . This weekend we have two swims on both Saturday and Sunday scheduled so if you want to have the ultimate dolphin encounter log on and book your place. We only take a max of 20 participants so spots are limited. If you want to check it out first before jumping right in we can take you as an observer and even without being in the water this is an amazing experience. You will need to read the online terms and conditions and fill out the request.

Sea conditions predicted for the following week:

Breezy north easterly winds will continue throughout this weekend and into next week with seas of between 1 and 2 metres. These are predicted to turn south east and ease next Tuesday which will see a flattening of the sea. The torrential rains recently experienced in south east Queensland and northern NSW are a direct result of massive evaporation from the extreme sea temperatures combined with strong onshore winds and far north Queensland could get another deluge with a cyclone currently moving inshore. High tide is around 5am on Saturday and low at 12 midday (every day you add approximately 50 minutes), next Thursday is the full moon and for the next couple of days following the high tides will be some of the highest of the year.

The Skipper’s HOT TIPS for safe swimming and sailing:

TIP 1: If you have any concerns with weather and sea conditions you should always check in directly with your cruise operator, Imagine uses three main online meteorological sources in making our sea condition predictions plus we interpret local conditions that may affect the areas we travel when looking for dolphins or finding a safe anchorage. These weather channels are updated quite regularly during the day as things do change, so it is a good idea to check in with us if you have any doubts. Imagine’s office is open between 9:00am and 4:30pm, 7 days a week and the number to call is 49 815 373 or 49 849 000

TIP 2: Although its very warm at the moment it can still be cool offshore so its good to take a light jumper of jacket with you as well as your swimmers and a towel. This is now the season for Blue bottle stingers so consider rashy when you go in the water and keep a good look out for those bubble like floaters and avoid them. Best way to treat a sting is by applying the hottest water on a towel to the sting that you can bear. 10 minutes of heat followed by a cold compress usually does the job( you can use a cold can of beer or soft drink the same way). Flat shoes with a reasonable grip is the way to go, no stilettos girls!

TIP 3: If you have any doubts about how your tummy is going to stand up to a few hours at sea, take a motion sickness pill. Imagine has them free on board including safe ones for pregnant ladies and chewy strawberry ones for kids, don’t risk it, the best time to take them is half an hour before boarding or at the latest straight away when you get on board.

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