I wake up 5 minutes before I’m supposed to be there, I’ve slept through my alarm, shit. I brush my teeth, throw on some clothes and run out the door. Thankfully I have my trusty moto. I speed to the meeting point taking 10 minutes to do what usually takes 15, granted it is early morning and traffic is light, still I go fast. Arriving at the Indomart about 10 minutes late there is no one to meet me, I’ve missed it. But I ask a worker and he yells out a name and from 2 doors down a man pops his head out and say, “you late”. Yes I know, I’m sorry, can we still go? He grumbles and wants to charge me more money, a lot more, almost double. I’m not really in the mood for this, it is 5 am after all and I haven’t had any coffee, and he’s not just grumbling he’s being really attitudal. I snap at him, either we go on this trip which I have already paid for or I go get my money back and you don’t get paid at all, what would you like to do? He agrees to go and we start to walk to his boat, he’s grumbling the whole way until I tell him I don’t like his attitude and if he is going to be like this the whole time then we can just forget it. We can either be happy with each other or we will not go. I guess he sees that logic in this, seeing as we will be stuck in a boat with each other for the next hour, and his attitude improves. Mine too.

At the last minute a middle aged local woman decides to come along for the ride, she hops in the boat, cackling wildly. This should help lighten the mood.

We’re going to see dolphins as the sun rises, this should be magical right? Not so much. As we make our way across the water I see more and more boats up ahead, I’m not sure I would be exaggerating if I say there were 100 boats. And these boats aren’t just hanging out in the water as the dolphins cruise by on their morning feed. No, these boats are actively chasing the dolphins, getting really, really close. Also these boats are cutting each other off, gunning their engines to make rapid turns and generally being a menace not only to the dolphins but to each other.

This is crazy. I feel major tourist shame. What are we doing disturbing this lovely animal as it tries to go about its business of eating breakfast? Why isn’t there some respect by the guides in their maneuverings? Why did I think it was ok to give money to someone to perpetuate this problem? In my defense I had no idea it would be like this, and quite frankly I am appalled. I ask the driver to back off, to not chase them, I don’t think he understands me and the lady behind me seems to be loving every minute of it so it continues. Resigned, I sit, I take the mandatory photos and I feel shame.