Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dolphin watching

I had a great day-trip dolphin watching and going out to Taiwan's "ecological park in the sea" - Turtle Mountain Island; a tiny volcanic shaped island that resembles a huge turtle, 10 kms from the coastal town of Toucheng, in Ilan county.

The island used to be inhabited by about 700 people until 1977; when they moved to the mainland, it became an off-limits military area. You can visit a network of underground tunnels built by the military; and there are still military buildings on the island.

The island is now a special ecological protection area; only 400 tourists at a time are allowed to visit; and they are kept to a tiny area on the western part of the island.

You pass a lake, can see some lovely plants and flowers; and even snakes.

But the most special thing was when we got back onto our boat and headed towards a group of dolphins that had been spotted.
I was expecting to see maybe 20-30; but there were more than 100 skipping and dancing around our boat. The experts told us that meant there was a population of 4-500 dolphins at that spot. Such a lovely thing to see....and we really didnt have to go far to find these wonderful mammals.

Schools of dolphins skipped all around our boat

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