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An unforgettable experience

20/07/2017

On a Caribbean cruise aboard Azura earlier this year, Jacky Davies from Stafford had the good fortune of seeing sperm whales and Fraser’s dolphins up close while on a shore excursion in Dominica. Here, she tells us all about the emotional experience and why she thinks cruising is such a great way to see the world

Jacky Davies and her husband Peter in Guadeloupe

Jacky Davies and her husband Peter in Guadeloupe

One of my favourite elements of cruising is that it provides a ‘taster’ of places you may want to visit in depth at another time. It also provides a very happy, relaxed and secure environment for people to travel.

 

My husband Peter and I have been on a number of P&O Cruises over the years (though we do like to travel independently, too). We’ve covered a good chunk of the globe – Japan, Russia, Alaska down to Vancouver; the Baltic region; a few trips around the Caribbean; Eastern Canada and the USA. We’ve been twice to the Amazon region, visiting destinations such as Manaus and Belem in Brazil and Devil’s Island in French Guiana, where we all had to sit and watch Papillion before being allowed off the boat. Only joking!

 

Cruising has provided us with many wonderful memories. On one particularly noteworthy trip to the Mediterranean we stopped in Gibraltar, which is where my husband and I met over 40 years ago while we were both serving in the navy. Another time, while on a partial transit of the Panama Canal, we stopped at Limón and visited the sloth sanctuary. The experience was so inspiring that four years later I returned and worked there for three weeks as a volunteer.

A whale’s tail is visible at it dives underwater

Jacky snapped this incredible shot on a whale-watching excursion in Dominica

Our most recent trip to the Caribbean aboard Azura was another one for the books. Before we left, we decided to book the Whale and Dolphin Exploration shore excursion in Dominica. I had been sceptical of this type of excursion in the past. Even though whales are very big mammals, the sea is a much bigger place and I figured the odds are of spotting one would be slim.

 

I must admit, this excursion vastly exceeded my expectations. It is quite difficult to put into words the feeling you get from seeing these beautiful creatures (sperm whales) for the first time. It made me very emotional – in fact it brought tears to my eyes. The whales didn’t appear to be bothered by our small boat in any way and swam on the surface with their babies until they were ready to dive into the deep. In all we saw eight adults and two babies. We saw numerous Fraser’s dolphins, too. A number of people on the boat had been on the same trip before and said they had seen whales every time, which really surprised me, as I hadn’t thought it would be that easy to see them.

 

We’ve already booked a cruise to Australia next year, where we’re looking forward to experiencing everything Aussie: Sydney, Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, wine, cricket, roos, koala bears and Tasmanian devils.

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