For over fifty years, dolphins have been coming to Tin Can Bay to be hand-fed by locals and tourists. The three dolphins who come to the little harbour now have learned about this [regulated] food source from each other, creating an opportunity for visitors to have an exceptional encounter with a wild animal.

Tin Can Bay, December 2010
We spent the night at the Tin Can Bay harbour, waking up early with the sunrise and enjoying our peaceful water views.

Aisha with a dolphin, Tin Can Bay, December 2010
When we walked down to the water, the wild dolphins were already there, waiting patiently to be fed.

Dolphin at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
Mystique is the alpha male of his pod. He is usually accompanied by his mate and another young male dolphin.

Dolphins at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
The dolphins were several hours early and while they waited, they played with each other, giving us a good show.

Pelican at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
A couple pelicans were also on hand to snaffle up fish scraps.

David at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
Before we left, David got to reach out and stroke one of these black cormorants. Although we have seen many cormorants on this trip, we haven't been able to get very close to them before today. We call these birds "underwater ducks" because they swim on the surface before suddenly disappearing into the depths and resurfacing thirty metres away.

Brioni at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
It was very special for Brioni and Aisha to feed the dolphins. The food is allocated very carefully so the dolphins aren't reliant on their hand-feeding for sustenance.

David also had a special time with the dolphins. He has particularly enjoyed all our close encounters with wildlife on this trip, and this morning made him feel quite emotional.

Later we found a beach-side playground, and it wasn’t long before our girls made some new friends!

Playing at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
The two sisters played nicely with Aisha and Brioni — both on the beach and at the playground.

Playing at Tin Can Bay, December 2010
It's encouraging to see our girls become friendly with others.

David enjoyed a long chat with the girls’ mum, although sometimes it can be more difficult to make friends with adults than with children! We have enjoyed the casual acquaintances we have made on this trip and are learning to be more friendly to everyone with whom we come into contact.

When it started raining again, we drove over to Rainbow Beach and had a look around. There were many campers on the peninsula, and we feel inspired to return one year and camp on the beach among so many other like-minded families!