The water between Dili and Atauro Island is called the Wetar Strait. It’s also been described as an ‘ocean superhighway’ as the deep waters allow passage to migrating whales and dolphins. As I have never seen dolphins, despite living in Manly, I was pretty excited when our Country Manager organised a dolphin watching trip in our first week.
Boarding a boat just opposite Casa Europa, our skipper first took us west, following the coast beyond Dili where city gives way to red hillside and low scrub. Even without sighting marine life, the clean sea air was refreshing and we all quietly took in the views of Timor Leste.
After an hour or so we turned back towards Atauro Island where we came across a pod of Pilot whales but they were shy and submerged whenever we inched closer. Nearing the island however we had our first glimpse of dolphins, just a few initially, but soon the water was teaming with them! They darted before the bow of the boat and played in its wake, leaping from the water in pairs and triplets. There were more than we could count and was just amazing to see.