The Dolphins of Monkey Mia

by Konrad Bucheli

Friday 19th August - Saturday morning 20th August, 2016

Before we start the tractor drivers and their entourage put all the vehicles together. Picture time. Our way leads up to Monkey Mia, a tourist resort.

On the way we first see apples thrown to the side of the road. At least it looks like that. There are yellow balls laying around. As we look closer we see dry plant parts below and around, similar to melons or pumpkins. The small flowers get less, but there are now bigger purple flowers around. The bush is mostly dense, but varies in size from two meters to only grass, most probably due to differing soil conditions. Outstanding are the salty planes at the bottom between the dunes as there only grows a red herb.

Jann has a new hobby. It is called "I am hungry". He annoys us with it since about two days. Also if it is only a short time since the last regular meal. So he does today on our drive. First we did not give anything. Before noon we arrive and Petra goes to ask for a camp site. I feed poor hungry Jann with a piece of crisp bread, our universal weapon to calm down or keep busy annoyed or hungry children. But Jann first refuses. He wants one complete piece. It is actually a complete slice, it is just a little bit slower than those of the brand we usually buy. With a compare with the rest in the pack I prove it. He eats a bit, then breaks it in half and rubs them at each other. This gives so nice crumbs. And remarks "I am hungry". After my intervention he eats one half and then comments with the second half in the hand: "I am hungry". The camping is booked out, so Petra took a room. We drive a bit back to the Little Lagoon where we have lunch. In the afternoon we return to Monkey Mia and go to the beach to play in the sand.

Next morning is the event for which so many come to Monkey Mia: the dolphin feeding. They feed up to three times during the morning a few known adult females with a bit of fish. Foreigners do not get anything. But also before dolphins showed up regularly here. The aborigines named the place after the dolphins. So a bit before eight the first dolphin comes in. More than one hundred spectators are waiting. I am on the jetty with Kiara and Petra is with Jann down at the shore. At the end we got visited by six dolphins, four of them were fed. And on the other side of the jetty one of them nearly was hit by a trailer with a boat which was driven into the water. To say "thank you" and "good bye" two of them jump a bit when leaving. The second feeding is about an hour later. Now the number of spectators is less than half. There are four dolphins coming in. One of them brings a piece of fish at about the size of a handball.