Surrounded by Dolphins
I pedaled a kayak out from shore over a sheet of pink water as the sun rose over the peak of “Star Wars” Mountain. My husband, Chris, swam nearby. I deviated away from him and his orange buoy, distracted by the dolphin groups I saw in every direction. Over the course of my kayaking adventure, I encountered at least 10 different groups. Everywhere were fins and flukes and geysers of water, illuminated gold under the rising sun.
I pedaled around one group after another. Groups of four, groups of six, groups of ten or more. I’d see a surge and then a two-pronged tail (fluke) flip up and descend. Dolphins arcing in groups. Dolphins jumping, tail slapping or splashing water. Some groups were comprised of bottlenose dolphins, some were comprised of the smaller common dolphins. And there were the babies. Small, narrow beaks peaked up from the water. Little tails flipped up. And all the while, I’m talking to them, of course. I can’t help myself. I tell the little ones that they’re cute. I sing songs to them. I tell all of them that I’m happy to see them, that they’re beautiful and powerful and amazing, that I’m their friend. I say how blessed I feel to be near them.
I pedaled past a group of other kayakers all awed by the dolphins swimming and splashing around. When I pedaled away from them to get closer to Chris, I turned once to see their position, seeing distance geysers of water, spray illuminated gold by the rising sun.
After Chris exited the water, I couldn’t resist staying out a little longer even though I had to get out soon for our condo complex annual meeting. It was then that I encountered the pod of bottlenose dolphins that I know, that have been swimming near me for nearly six years.
Cirque and some of the other dolphins swam right alongside me or in front of the boat, just inches below the surface. I tried to pedal at a smooth, even cadence worried I might hit them. I saw their entire bodies gliding beneath me. Sometimes they swam on their sides, looking at me. Their loud exhales from their blowholes sound like a “pew” kind of like I sound when I am completely out of breath swimming.
I spoke to my group of friends. I told them I was sorry that people threw trash into the water and that the water was being contaminated. I told them that through a volunteer group and my writing, I was a voice for the environment and for them. I told them that I wanted to be able to communicate with them. That I hoped they understood that I loved animals, especially dolphins and Chow Chows.
Feeling joy and divine love flowing through me, I said to them “Love is Reflected in Love,” a foundational phrase I think of often as I try to follow Jesus’ teachings and see the Christ in everyone—and every dolphin. Love and kindness and acceptance has a way of bringing out the best in everyone. My dolphin friends seemed to relate as eight of them arced over the water in response at the same time.
Then two of the large males propelled themselves high into the air, their powerful bodies glinting under the sunlight before they plunged into the water nose first with little splash. Occasionally, they leaped and intentionally landed on their sides, creating a tremendous splash. But they continued to respond to my shouts, almost like I was their trainer, commanding that they do another performance. It was so much fun watching them.
I didn’t want to pedal away. But it was getting close to 9 AM. I told them I had to go to a meeting, that I was worried that people would argue and be angry and that I would lose this peace I felt with them out in the water. Since the dolphins seem to understand what I say sometimes, I imagine that it is my thoughts more than my actual words that they can interpret somehow.
My friends Ellen and Fred at Bahia Delfin saw me interacting with this group of dolphins from their upstairs patio. They were amazed at how long the dolphins stayed with me, how comfortable they seemed with me. And how connected we all seemed to be. It was an hour of magic, never to be forgotten. And a bye for now, but I’ll be back out here soon!