Go Dolphin spotting at Konkan
This ride atop a fisherman’s boat far into the sea searching for dolphins is a unique experience.
You head 4–5 km. into the sea with gentle waves rocking your boat to get spectacular views of the beach and a chance to experience dolphins dancing around your boat.
This trip lasts about 90 minutes, and we paid INR 2500 for the entire boat which can easily seat 15 adults, and I assume it can take a maximum of 18 adults. For individuals they charge INR 200. Occasionally, it takes time to spot the dolphins, but the boatman makes sure your don’t miss the experience. We started our search at Ladghar, and went right up to Karde beach before we spotted about 12–15 dolphins. If you spot them early, you get to spend more time watching them.
Is it safe?
I fear deep waters, but these boats are used commercially for fishing, so there’s no need to underestimate it’s safety. They’re registered with the local authorities and have a registration number just like the vehicle you own.
They need a permit to take visitors to the sea, and are safe. They’re designed to bear a load of 3 tons, and visitor’s don’t add up to that much (usually). The one we hopped-onto was spick-and-span and the boatman and his mate were well mannered. Visitor’s are also given lifejackets just in case.
Plan your visit
You have to reach the beach just before sunrise to experience this best. These rides operate till 11 am, but by then it is hot and the chance of spotting dolphins also goes down. Ladghar and Karde are 2 beaches I know of where you can start your rides.
In December, we reached Ladghar beach at 6:30 in the morning. There’s a group of 15–20 boatmen who let out one boat after the other in a organised way and are polite and helpful. I interacted with Milind Surve (+919765370033) who apparently was co-ordinating the whole show. If you can’t get hold of him try contacting Ganesh Surve (+919823532622).
Must do the dolphin spotting ride on your trip to Konkan, it is an entertainer for all ages. I believe this is the top attraction of this region.