Yesterday was a day I had been looking forward to for a while now. The “Best Jobs in the World” Wildlife Caretaker crew would be swimming with Sea Lions in Seal Cove off of Hopkins Island in South Australia.
I woke up to a beautiful sunrise in Port Lincoln and had an instant feeling that today was going to be a day to remember.
Following a quick breakfast the the Port Lincoln Hotel, we took a short bus ride to meet up with Matt Waller of Adventure Bay Charters for a quick briefing. Today was going to be amazing. I couldn’t wait to get so up close with one of the most unique animals in the world. The Australian sea lion is extremely rare and they are only found in certain places across Australia. For our sea lion swim, we made our way out to Seal Cove on Hopkins Island where the landscape is essentially a playground for these pups. For an experience like swimming with sea lions, words don’t do it justice – therefore I created a short 2 minute video to sum up the day.
As you can see, it was an experience unlike anything you could imagine. The lack of fear in the sea lions to show off their tricks to humans is incredible. The interaction between the sea lion and the human is very interactive. A give and take relationship is evident and the more you put in, and the more fun you have – the more fun and playful the sea lion will be in return. I think as a collective group we had such an incredible time, no one wanted to get out of the water to head back to Port Lincoln. You don’t have an experience like this everyday and it was one you wanted to get the most out of while you were there. Absolutely amazing.
The three finalists had a challenge associated with this experience as well. They were to use their various gadgets and cameras to capture footage of the entire experience. From boarding the charter, to the journey to Seal Cove, to the preparation before the encounter, the underwater sea lion footage and finally after the experience – everything was filmed and later put into a 2 minute promo video. In addition to the 2 minute video, a blog post summarizing the experience was required as well. Make sure you check out the 3 finalists videos and blog and share your favourite!
Greg Snell (Canada) – http://vimeo.com/68472626
Nick Tilley (USA) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPtViltM9uw&feature=player_embedded
CC (Taiwan) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6bkgUTbMHU
It was such a unique and effective challenge that helped to show off the finalists skills and creativity! It is becoming more clear that the finalists all have their strengths and I think it is becoming harder for the judging panel to chose a winner. The passion and knowledge for Australia and wildlife is vast amongst the group of finalists and I think the next couple days will be a huge deciding factor in the outcome of the competition for Wildlife Caretaker.