We hung out at Blue Corner, a restaurant on the beach with sun loungers out at the front. You could stay there all day, resting on the sun loungers, going for a walk or a swim, and eating in the restaurant when you get hungry. The seafood in Benaulim is very good. The sun loungers were free, and there were very few people around on the beach. A pack of dogs have a patch of territory in this part of the beach; some of them slept in the shady sand beneath our loungers.
My brother and I love swimming in the sea, so went out at the first opportunity. However the waves were high in proportion to the shallow water, making it very difficult to swim any distance. But it was fun to bask in the warm water, under the blinding sun and bright blue sky. And we tried to catch the powerful waves and ride in on them – they would have been great with a couple of bodyboards.
The following day we went on a dolphin sighting trip. It was only us going on the trip, because it was out of season, being the hot, pre-monsoon month of April. In fact there were virtually no other tourists anywhere around. Benaulim was only locals, and a handful of holidaymakers we came to recognise by sight, from seeing them around the beach and the village. It was grand to have the whole beach pretty much deserted, and wide expanses of soft white sand to ourselves. Benaulim in general was extremely quiet and peaceful, very relaxing as an end point to our trip around Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.
The dolphins we saw were Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphins, which I had never seen before. They are much paler grey than bottlenose dolphins, and have a more compact body shape. The splash of water in the centre of the photo above was all I managed to get on camera of the dolphins, but we did see several. There were a few dolphins jumping up out of the water and gliding back down. We were all alert watching the sea, and became highly excited when one of us spotted a dolphin breaking the surface – both us and the two crew. One of the men stood up on the prow, looking out for dolphins. He swayed with the movement of the boat, and did not need to hold on to anything.
Our crew pulled up alongside this fishing boat and some shellfish and shrimps were delivered into the bottom of our own boat. They were poured out in a bucket, and slithered around in the base of the boat while one of the men sorted through them. I could see small red starfish curling out their arms.
We were transferred to a smaller boat to take us in to the shore. The waves were high when we came in, and before we climbed out a large wave hit the boat end-on while the prow was down in a lea from another wave, and the water poured over the top of the front windscreen (or wave screen) and the boat rolled precariously. But men came in from the beach to steady it, and we climbed out over the side into the sea. I was drenched but only concerned for my camera, which had been in a non-waterproof bag in a footwell under the prow. But though the bag was soaked, the camera seemed none the worse for its adventure.