So…. I did it!!!! I swam with Wild Dolphins. :’)

Before I begin with my post, I’d like you guys to watch this video!!!!! Sam roughly edited it for me, because the good lord knows I’m beyond hopeless at video editing.

….It has always been a long-time dream of mine to swim with wild dolphins. It was one of THE things in my bucket list, along with “skydiving” and “getting married on a beach” but I guess this has a lot more sentimental value to me. (ok maybe not as much as the marriage on a beach)

I adore dolphins. Their intelligence and playfulness amazes me to no end. I don’t think I will ever crease to be fascinated by them. Before I discovered orcas / killer whales, dolphins were my favorite animal. Well actually orcas are dolphins too but they’re totally different in a sense lol ok not to bore you with the science but yeah, as I was saying I TOTALLY FREAKING LOVE DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!

I’ve seen a lot dolphins, mhmm, even hand-fed and petted them, but that was in aquariums and in places like Sea World. Where they were captive, and bred to be accustomed to the presence of humans.. they were not wild and free. I never got the chance to see them splashing about in the big blue sea, although there was once I caught glimpses of them during a boat trip. When I say a glimpse I really do mean just a glimpse though.

…So imagine the inexplicable happiness I felt when I finally got the chance to swim with wild bottlenose dolphins in the gorgeous turquoise waters of Western Australia. ;__________; One of the most beautiful places on earth.

When I’m old and grey, sitting on a creaky wooden rocking chair and looking back on my life thinking about all the things I’m glad I did, this will be high up on that list.

My day started out early in the morning.

It was cold, and I had my jumper loosely draped across my chest. My stupid expression is a mixture of extreme excitement, skepticism and mild disbelief. Oh and also coldness. Was I really going to do this? After a 45 minutes bus ride out of Perth and into the small city of Rockingham where we were minutes away from jumping onto a boat that would take Sam and I out to sea, it seemed more real than ever.

Many thoughts raced through my head…. Most of them being “Dolphins!!! ^.^ OMG OMG weeeee Dolphins!!!!!!” while some were unfortunately a bit more sadistic, like “What if I don’t see any dolphins at all? I’ve been on supposed “100% chance of seeing dolphins / whales tours and didn’t see shiat before.

…Or worst still. What if a shark comes along and eats me? That would be sad.” (As of September 11, there’s been 873 shark attacks in Australia since records began in 1791. And sharks sometimes hunt dolphins so we could be in the middle of a predator-prey situation, what’s stopping the shark from eating me too?)

Sam, for some reason, wasn’t bouncing with joy like I was. Maybe he too, was thinking about sharks, like I was, lol. His expression pretty much remained the same as above until he actually saw some dolphins… Then it went from :| to …. :D

We arrive at our boat.

There were already other people on it.

Damn, the tour group was much larger than we had anticipated. Perhaps it was the peak period for this sort of activity.

About half of my boat. I’m not a people person so this wasn’t great… but I wasn’t about to let that get in the way of me having some of the best time of my life.

Sam maintaining his :| expression. He is one of those people who would go, “Yeah, I’m so excited” with a completely straight face. I don’t get it. Sometimes I feel sad for people who have difficulty handling their emotions, or expressing themselves. They don’t know when to feel emotional, or rather, feel no real need to be. Life is just… life to them. It isn’t necessarily spectacular. Isn’t it boring to be so “calm and collected” all the time? It feels good to smile till your cheeks go sore and to have your heart beat real fast. Sometimes it also feels good to cry your eyes out because at least that means you’re not cold inside. How can you live if you don’t feel?!

I randomly asked him for some tissue and he handed me this packet. No, it wasn’t intentional. IT WAS A SIGN. :D From then on I felt convinced we would see lots of dolphins. Lol.

They handed us some wet suits and our snorkel masks. I think putting on a wet suit must be one of the most physically unglamorous things you could ever possibly do… even flapping your arms around like a chicken while farting loudly would probably look more sexually attractive.

Leaving Rockingham’s pier behind… they said we wouldn’t have to go further than a few short miles before we’d be surrounded by dolphins!!!!!

They passed around some colored belts for us to wear around our waist. We were separated into small groups of about 4-6 people, and this guy was my instructor. Here he is going over the important steps of how to act when encountering wild dolphins…

And here I am pretending to listen when actually I was just trying to take a decent photo of myself in a snorkel mask. Something about snorkel masks makes your asian nose look even more bulbous and a non-existent double chin suddenly very present and obvious.

Anyways, here’s what they told us!!!!

1) When we yell your group’s color (mine was Black Team), assemble at the back of the boat as quickly as you can! If you’re too slow, you’ll miss the dolphins.

2) Get into the open water swiftly, but gently. If you make loud splashes, you might scare the dolphins away.

3) Always make sure you are in a single file and holding onto the belt of your team member in front of you

4) If I yell, “Left arm!!!” before entering the water, everyone jump into the water looking to your right, while holding onto the person in front of you with your left arm. If I yell “right arm”, look left while holding on with your right. If you look the wrong way, again you might miss the dolphins

5) The first and last person of your group will have to wear something called a SharkShield. (They are shark repellent products that repel the sharks via an electric field that induces spasms in the sharks’ snouts which are really sensitive)

6) Don’t try to touch the dolphins. They’re completely wild and we’d like to keep them that way.

Before I could even start processing their instructions properly, I hear someone scream out, “Black team!!! BLACK TEEAAAAMMM!!! At the back of the boat, hurry please!”

and I was scrambling to shove my snorkel mask over my face. I hurriedly waddled over to join the rest of my team.

It was serious business. Everyone had to act quick and smart. This was already proving to be more difficult than I imagined. I thought I’d find a pod of dolphins all obligingly ready to play and blow bubble rings at me only a couple of meters off the shore, while I slip into an expensive revealing bikini with my perfectly svelte figure and swim around gracefully with them dolphins like I was somehow a mermaid in my past life.

Yeah… right. Svelte and graceful I was not, in my skintight wetsuit I felt like a platypus out of water. Suddenly my feet are dangling off the back of the boat (that’s me with the chipped silver toenail polish) and the coldness of the sea water hits me. I am not going to enjoy jumping into this. Shit, it’s so fucking col-

“ALRIGHT, EVERYBODY INTO THE WATER! IN THREE!! TWO….. *splash*

Me, in my head: Omg omg now? Omg *hesitates before jumping*…. *finally jumps because person behind me pushed me in*

For the first 5 seconds I don’t think about anything else besides how cold the water is and how unaccustomed I am breathing through a snorkel mask underwater. Some water gets into my mask, and I am momentarily blinded and choked. FML I’m not good at this. It’s not something I do all that often.

I turn my head left and right. I hear the loud sea scooter that our instructor was using to pull all of us along the water with. The sea water tastes salty in my mouth. I don’t notice anything else in the water but bunches of floating seaweed and the people in front of me. Visibility wasn’t fantastic.

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…And then I see it.


This HUGE, AMAZINGGGGGGG
3 meters long bottlenose dolphin just appears out of nowhere right in front of me, in plain sight. It doesn’t strike you just how big they are, somehow sea creatures always look smaller from the top.

It then proceeds to swim DIRECTLY UNDERNEATH ME!!! Imagine yourself floating in superman position, but looking directly downwards and seeing this wild dolphin swim so bloody close, I was almost afraid it’s dorsal fin might poke into my stomach because it looked sort of sharp.

That was when I thought to myself, “This is FUCKING AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The lone dolphin then started twisting around in all sorts of weird angles (not sure why they did that, curiosity maybe?), posing barely less than 2 meters in front of us, and making interesting clicking noises through it’s blowhole like it was putting on a show almost. It was so so so mesmerizing to watch. Dolphins are fun to watch from on top, out of the water but A MILLION times better when you’re in the water with them!!! I’m sorry I didn’t get a lot of good pictures, it was very hard to at that point in time but you get to see some footage in the video!

So I don’t know how many seconds, or minutes passed by that I was observing the dolphin with my eyes as wide open as they’d go so I could capture every detail… (I was literally like this O____O underwater the whole time) But eventually the dolphin swam away, and it was time for us to jump back onto the boat so that other teams could have their go at trying to get some dolphin action.

….I hurled myself back onto the boat, and the first thing I said to Sam was, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD. DID YOU SEE THAT?!?!??!!??!” (like, duhhh :P) and he was like, “Wow, it was so close, I couldn’t believe it!!!”

I thought we were already lucky to get so close to one dolphin. Heck, I was even surprised we found any at all. Little did I know that throughout the day, we’d come into contact with over 20 different dolphins from different pods and the experiences would vary so much!!!

Our boat found dolphins by having a tracker situated on the top deck of the boat, looking out for dorsal fins in the water and then directing us towards them (not an easy job!)… for almost 20 minutes we couldn’t find any dolphins at all, when they said, “Hey guys, we’re going to create a wake behind the boat which the dolphins like to surf in, so hopefully they’ll be attracted by it and come to us in a more playful mood!

HEY PRESTO what do you know it worked like a charm!!!! Out come the playful dolphins! :D

Our guide said that the dolphins like doing this because it’s similar to humans being on a roller coaster and having gravity work it’s magic on us, giving us that surreal “air time” feeling when we’re going down a slope. The dolphins must be bored of zero gravity all the time in the water, so this is one of the few ways they can “surf”, besides of course the naturally-created surfs of the sea. I hear in Hawaii you can see LOTS of dolphins surfing off the beach!!! ♥_♥

All these shots were taken with my underwater camera, the Canon D10! (which is now discontinued in production unfortunately) Wish I brought my DSLR could’ve taken some awesome shots!

Still, I think these are pretty good! They were jumping in and out of the wake for 3 whole minutes. They loved it!

WEEE!!!! Flying dolphin!

Here’s 2 dolphins swimming towards our boat.

Do you spot something wrong with one of the dolphins?! It’s dorsal fin is missing!!! I reckon it got severed off by a boat propeller or maybe a shark bit it off…. Poor flipper :(

For the next 3-4 hours or so, we cruised the waters of Rockingham trying to spot more dolphins and swimming with them! Since we took it in groups to swim with the dolphins, everyone had a unique experience and some better than others.

I think we had it pretty good because there were lots of times the dolphins came so close to me I thought I could reach out and touch em. It surprised me how ready they were to come into human contact. They could tell we wanted to play!!! Sometimes they’re just not there no matter how hard you look for them, at other times they’re all around you.

We even saw a BABY dolphin that was under a week old!!!!! ;____; It was just the cutest assfdlkf0r93wkdslk; thing EVER. Ridiculous cute overload. I was disappointed that we couldn’t swim with it because the mother would get protective over its new born calf.

With each additional time they yelled, “BLACK TEAM!!!! It’s your turn!!!” we assembled and got ready faster. I jumped into the open sea with ease after the 3rd time. Each time was never less exciting than the previous. This one time I was too excited and hurried I totally forgot to put my snorkel mask on before jumping off the boat only to realize 3 seconds later that humans can’t breathe underwater. I learned how to strain my ears to listen to the clicks and sounds of the dolphins. I tightened the grip on my snorkel mask so water didn’t seep in anymore. My heart always exploded when I spotted a dolphin swimming towards me. Sometimes we also saw none at all. I was disappointed when we’d see none, because we’d climb back onto the boat feeling a little bit down but it makes the next time we jump back into the water THAT much more thrilling.

It was a HUGE adrenaline rush.

I definitely didn’t expect it to be such a pumped up activity. Somehow I always imagined swimming with dolphins would be relaxing… magical… and soothing to the soul? Well it was magical in it’s own way of course! But I’ve seen videos of other people swimming with dolphins and I was expecting something else. :P

There was this specific guide on our tour whose job was different from all the other instructors. Instead of leading different teams swimming towards the dolphins, this woman worked alone. With a sea scooter in her hands, she’d swim side-by-side with the dolphins to gain their attention, then bring the dolphins over to US!!! She must have what is one of the best jobs in the world. She’d make loops around the dolphins and do all sorts of cool aquatic stunts to spike their curiosity. I was soooo jealous, because she was literally rubbing shoulders and body with the dolphins and they didn’t seem to mind at all! In fact I figured they were completely intrigued with her.

Throughout the rest of our afternoon, it was jumping into the water, looking at dolphins, getting out of the water, watching other people jump in, enjoy the boat ride and soak up some sun while others were having their go, trying to spot the dolphins from on top… We saw all sorts of dolphins – from ones that were hunting, playing to even a group of kinky males chasing a single female to mate with her. Hilarious!!!

After hours of heart-pounding, breath-stopping dolphin action, our day had to end all too soon and it was time to head back to shore… I so didn’t wanna go back :(

I could have stayed for another 3 hours. Or perhaps forever. Our tour guides let us have some individual fun with their $6k sea scooters to end off a great day at sea. For a second I was mortified having to face civilization and human beings again instead of floating around with cool dolphins. When you’re out there, you leave every single thought of the rest of the world behind.

But back on land we were. And before I knew it, it was all over. I swore to myself this was something I’d want to do again. And again, and AGAIN!!!!

This was the tour company we engaged, if you’re interested in doing this too!! Which, come on, you totally should because it’s a life-changing experience. If you’ve ever thought about doing it, DON’T THINK, just do. It will be one of the best things you’ll ever did. Visit them at Dolphins.com.au.

We had lunch break at a beach side cafe before going back to the city of Perth. While I was eating my steak sandwich, I asked myself, “Did I really just do that? ..Yeah, guess I did, huh? Woah.”

It was weird that I went back home in Perth, which was only 45 minutes away, and did other normal humanly things like take a shower and then talked to my mother when she went “So, how was your day?” like it was just another ordinary day in my life. It wasn’t.

It was an incredibly special and surreal day for me – living out one of my wildest dreams. ♥

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Rose Heritage Cafe

There’s plenty of good places to eat at in Perth. With their abundance of fresh produce, I don’t see why not!

But I didn’t just want nice food, you can find good tasting food anywhere in the world – I wanted to explore new unique dining experiences. Melbourne they actually have dining in the dark (!! they say your sense of taste and smell is heightened because you lose your sense of sight) but unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to give that a try.

Nevertheless, before my trip, I asked around on Twitter for peoples suggestions on places I should go, and a nice follower recommended me this place called Rose Heritage Cafe about 35 mins from Perth city.

It looked so pretty from the pictures on their website, I just had to check it out! :)

From the inside, the place looks cozy, but humble. It’s the outside that is impressive – you’ll see later on!

Check out their desserts section!! ♥_♥ And Peter’s ice cream… Heaven on a Stick is orgasmically good.

My mum and Sam were pretty skeptical when I told them about this place, because it’s located in the outbacks of Australia despite being only 30 minutes from Perth. I guess Perth itself is already pretty isolated and deserted in a way, lol. You know it’s the outback when you run out of paved road, and it’s just sand paths.

The beauty of this place lies in its vast gardens!!! A cafe in the middle of a Rose Nursery makes a lovely sight. I think they have what must be acres of carefully planted gardens!

What people living in the outback do. :) Listen to the birds up in the trees sing their chirpy songs and talk about baking pies.

Lol I’m not even kidding. I overheard a pair of middle-aged women’s conversation, and it went like this:

*In a serious tone*… Woman 1: “Listen to me. You and I are going to do something this weekend.

Woman 2: “What is it?” *curious*

Woman 1: “We, are going to make chocolate pies. *dramatic 3 second pause*... With some sort of meat in them, I haven’t decided what type yet. Mary did a chocolate pie last week, but ours are going to be better than Mary’s. And we’ll enter it in XXX competition. (I didn’t get the name of the competition)”

And that was when I raised my eyebrows in complete bemusement and walked away. Meat and chocolate in a pie?!?

This buncha fake flowers hanging from the ceiling is so colorful and totally apt to set the cheery mood! Try spotting the rather unfortunate massive spider web.

We chose the indoor seating despite it being gorgeous outside because I’m afraid of butterflies, and there happened to be HEAPS fluttering around outside that day. I know, face palm incoming… a girl who’s deadly afraid of moths & butterflies and insects in general wanting to dine at a Rose Cafe.

What? I like flowers but not creepy crawlies. Ah well you can’t have everything in life.

I still haven’t seen never ending fields of the Wildflower Season in Western Australia yet! I bet that’ll be a sight to behold. One thing I’m looking forward to the next time I go! And Ningaloo Reef ;____;

Checking out more of the gardens while waiting for our meals to be served!


Lunch is served!!!

I get the feeling the salad on my plate was freshly plucked and washed from their gardens, coz our meals took quite awhile to get outta the kitchen :P

The food was so fresh! I mean, just look at it. It reeks of healthiness and home made goodness. For once I am eating non-sinfully. Freshness aside, taste wise wasn’t exactly spectacular, although decent enough.

Makes me sad to type this because in the 3 days I’ve been back in Singapore, I’ve already had McDonalds twice. Ugh I’m disappointed in myself, but I’ve been feeling sick so I haven’t found the enthusiasm to start cooking or going out to eat at nicer places yet.

But then of course, I go and spoil my healthy meal with a great big whopping dessert. Mango cheesecake with a huge dollop of cream on the side (which I didn’t touch, try to believe me lol) and pretty rose petals on top to boot!!! BOMB.

Their desserts seem much more appetizing than their mains (mainly of salads, soups and sandwiches, light stuff)

Mum and I really caught up on spending precious quality time with each other. She’s been so busy traveling in recent months, I haven’t seen her that much at all but our time in Perth made up for the lost time.

In Singapore we never just sit down for a nice, quiet brunch and enjoy each others company. Even if we have the time, sometimes we just don’t do it. I think it’s Asian culture to sit down, order your food within 3 minutes, eat within 30 and GTFO. Kinda necessary when you live in a fast-paced city. I hear Australians take like 3 hours for their fancier dinners! It must be the copious amount of wine. Note to self – drink more wine. People who do generally seem more relaxed.

Sam and mum looking confused posing together for a photo. LOL. They don’t do this very often. I think they dunno if they should put an arm around each other, do the peace sign or just stand there like awkward penguins, which they did.

Thank you to the follower who recommend this place!!! A perfect way to idle away a pretty Summer afternoon. :) And a great spot for touristy photos! If you have a secret (or not-so-secret lol) special place that you know of to escape the world and crowds because of it’s unique ambience or location, do share with me! I’m getting tired of my usual chain restaurants.


Rose Heritage Cafe40 Masonmill Road Carmel WA 6076, Australia
Tel: (08) 9293 5112

Food quality: 3/5
Service / Ambience: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Most suitable for: Tourists, people looking to enjoy a nice quiet cuppa tea

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Back to Singapore, Back to Reality


Life in Perth…

Is slow. Sunny. Carefree. Time spent with my loved ones.

Just the way I like it.

Now that I’m back in Singapore, I feel like I’m suffering from a serious case of PAS. …….Post-Australia-Syndrome. I feel really out of place here in Singapore. I don’t feel like I belong, or that this is where I want to be. Not because it’s no good, it’s heaps good, for plenty of other people, just not for me. Having traveled to countries that aren’t quite clean, or safe enough, I can appreciate what Singapore has to offer. Every place has it’s good and bad points, but there’s not enough here for me to make me want to stay.

I need openness in my life. I don’t want to live in a concrete jungle. I need space to run & frolic around, I need fresh air to breathe, I need parks to stroll at with my mum & Sam, beaches to marvel at, I need to live in a country that doesn’t suffocate me. I need to be able to step out of the house without dying in the heat, every single day. Somehow Perth seems to fit the bill perfectly. If you haven’t been to the good parts of Australia, maybe you won’t understand. But if you have experienced the different life they have there, perhaps you will. I wasn’t made for built up bustling cities, or for night life and flashing lights. I can’t stand the fast life. I hate traffic on roads that never move.

I don’t mind that in Aus, the shops close at 5. I’d give up shopping at Orchard Road, late night movies and KTV-ing. The more times I visit the place, the more convinced I am and the more I adore it. Well not just any part of Australia, I love Perth in particular. It’s different from the big cities like Melbourne & Sydney. It is much more serene. Western Australia is STUNNING, and has so much potential, I can’t believe some people actually call it “boring.” But to each their own.

I’m regretting getting the jitters and backing out when I had the chance to study in Perth for uni. But then again if I didn’t go ahead with Shiberty’s Sweets, I’m sure I would’ve regretted that too. Thank god time is on my side at the moment. If another opportunity presents itself, I’m pretty sure I’ll jump straight at it. This trip, it feels like I was gone from SG for months. It felt like I left all my worries, troubles, and responsibilities behind and I was just on earth to have fun. Traveling is awesome like that – the only thing you need to worry about is how much fun you’re having today, and how you’re going to top that tomorrow. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and so did my trip. Am in the process of mourning the best trip ever…

Here’s some pictures while I’m at it.

At the Freo markets! That’s my mum’s Volvo sports car. It’s pick up speed and agility is crayyy.

I love how fresh produce is always so readily available here!

What did I say previously about their produce being oversized? I wonder how this even tastes! Very woody I’d assume.

I actually found myself going “waaaaa so nicely decorated these cupcakes!!!” then I paused for a second, remembered that I do the exact same thing for my work, but more advanced, then walked away. LOL

It’s different when it’s not you who did the design though, it’s always intriguing to see what other people come up with. And if you want to know, they didn’t taste very good.

Ready made sauces & dips are the bomb!!!

They’ve got a lot of this in Aus. I don’t mean like soy sauce or chilli sauce. I mean specially blended gourmet mixes like capsicum and feta (YUM) or basil and onions. The combination possibilities are endless!

Perth’s weather was perfect for alfresco dining.

To-die-for desserts!!!!!! ;_;

A lot of Perth restaurants offer an impressive range of home made sweet treats. Food in Perth is so good, but so expensive. Usually we pay at least $4 AUD for a bottle of water or for a soft drink.

I ♥ street musicians. They’re always so underrated and talented. And I always make it a point to give them a tip. It’s not very nice of cheapskate people to sit through an entire performance of a street performer and leave without tipping them a cent afterward…

When in Australia, eat as the Australians do!

Eggs benedict with smoked salmon. I tried making eggs benedict for the first time a few days after this and it was so easy!!!! I don’t get why breakfast food is so overpriced everywhere. Even in SG, places like Wild Honey serve you breakfast food for like 25 dollars. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

What’s so difficult about frying mushrooms and sausages or toasting bread? *face palm*

Milkshake is the new OJ.

Sam didn’t realize which organization he was donating to, only after he took a look at the sticker on his jumper and it was…

The Sea Sheperd!!! Wtf.

We used to watch their shows and root for them about a year ago. We reckon they were docked at Freo’s harbour while we were there, hence sending some volunteers out to gather donations around the area! Once upon a time, Sam and I had briefly (and very loosely, based on fantasy) discussed whether we’d like to volunteer a few months of our time to go save some whales. But of course I’d be completely useless on a boat out at sea. We both get terribly sea sick. And we also ended up making cakes instead. :P

It’s so unlike my mum to be seen out and about in the sunlight without shade (she’s nuts about staying fair, pretty much every Asian lady for you) but she knew I loved strolls in the parks so she sportingly came along with me!!! ♥

It was such a beautiful day to be out.

My boyfriend doing a really gu niang pose. Me: “WTF is that pose?!”

“….Fine! I’ll be like this then.” (but he’s really much more like the first picture irl)

“Mum, just because you’re SORT OF hiding 1/4 of your body behind a tree doesn’t mean the camera won’t capture you!!! You’re in my picture!”

She then giggled and hid completely behind the tree.

I don’t think I’ve ever made Sam smile the way ice cream makes him smile.

LOL these few pictures alwayssssssss make me laugh

Went back to the apartment for an afternoon nap… ♥

If only everyday could be this simple.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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