Monday, April 13, 2009

Ripples on the river

Tim's shot of one of Kampi's ultra-friendly dolphins
When you see this sign, you know you have arrived at Kampi
Dolphins at Kratie, well Kampi to be precise. I hadn't forgotten that I was going to share with you a few more of our pictures from our dolphin encounter last month. Tim's photos were better than mine, I seemed to find the happy knack of clicking the shutter just as the dolphin disappeared from view, leaving the majority of my pics showing just ripples on the river. Nevertheless, we enjoyed considerable dolphin activity during the hour or so on the Mekong River and some of the unexpected full, body-out somersaults and vertical head-out manoeuvres were quite exciting. We persuaded our boatman to paddle to reduce the noise and in the quiet of our 6.30am start, we thoroughly enjoyed our brief flirtation with the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. The pod that lives at Kampi is about twenty strong I'm told, and I reckon we saw most of them, though without any way to formally identify them, its impossible to tell. However, with dolphins breaking the surface at the same time in at least four directions, often in a group of four, we had our fill. As we went further out into the middle of the river our group of four dolphins followed us, deliberately teasing me and my failure to capture their antics on film - well, that's my theory. As we returned to shore, both Tim and I deemed our dolphin-watching a major success.
The sun rises over the Mekong River
Two dolphins head out to deeper water in the middle of the river
Tim captures one of the day's first somersaults
Local traffic began to pick up around 7am
If I had managed to capture the picture before the dolphin disappeared, this may've been a nice shot!Dolphin in foreground, French-colonial river markers in background, on the right
Vertical head-out pose from this dolphin, quite close to the shore at Kampi
This was how the majority of my photos turned out, an indistinct shadow and some splashes
Welcome to Kampi and the Irrawaddy Mekong dolphins - the boat costs $9/hour/person
The stretch of the Mekong River at Kampi and the tourist boats lying in wait for customers

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