Loving Atlantic Spotted Dolphins

20 years ago in September

Being in the middle of the sea – no land in sight.  Azure blue water and sky.

“Dolphins!” Margaret shouts. “On the bow wave!”

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The boat slowly comes to a stop, and we jump in. I am so excited. I have wanted to swim with dolphins my whole life – ever since Flipper. I still remember all the words to that TV show theme song. “They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightening….”

We are swimming around each other – the dolphins and I – checking each other out, beaming love.  We dive together, breathe together and go back under for more dancing, swimming in circles, looking in each other’s eyes. The water temperature is perfect, and so clear. I hear them squeak, sing, hold long notes, buzz, and make a clicking sound that is their sonar, checking us out.  I can feel the sonar.


The older they are, the more spots they have. They have perpetual smiles. At first, they all look alike, but then you can tell them all apart, each one distinctive.

I left all my stress back on the dock in Florida last night.  It feels good to relax. A guy on the boat, Carlos Eyles, a well- known under water photographer, taught me how to free dive this morning. I am grateful for this, as it allowed me to dance with the dolphins today. I had only floated around on the surface, while snorkeling, watching the ocean life below. Free diving changes everything!

There are 8 of us on the boat. I came with my closest friend, Kris.  She took the pictures you see. We talk about our encounters.  Everyone’s stories are so sweet. We laugh about the thought of them doing the same thing – talking about their encounters with us. “Did you see the one with the long legs? He was fun. How about the one with the really long fins and long flowing hair?” “Yeah, I had really good eye contact with that one. Not sure if it was male or female.” “They don’t seem to understand our language. A couple of them sort of did. What are those funny things on their faces?”

One woman said she had been playing with one and it started shrieking, and went to the surface and jumped out of the water. I too, remember shrieking with delight.  It is so special that it is the dolphin’s choice to play with us.  Nobody is feeding them, or coaxing them.  They just want to play and have meaningful inter-species connections, just like we do.

I touched one. I sort of couldn’t help it.  We swim with our hands behind our backs, so as not to seem invasive. He or she came so close, I felt my touch was invited. It felt like rubber, sort of, but softer with some give to it.  The eye contact is extraordinary.

My heart is completely open.  It would be nice to feel like this all the time – so positive and free. Awareness in the moment. They are an inspiration to be at one with all Consciousness.

A few days later

This may not be the best time of year to be here – hurricane season.

Big storm last night. Azure water turned black in minutes. Gales of wind, sheets of rain that feel like glass hitting my face – like, “Ow! I just got hit by a piece of rain!” Giant lightning bolts across the sky, followed very shortly by huge claps of thunder. Everyone else went into the cabin, but I tied myself to a pole and experienced the whole storm.  I just didn’t want to miss it. We would rise to the top of a wave, then fall 20 feet, and hit the water hard. Some waves we went through, covering the deck (and me) with water.  It was majorly exciting.  Everyone else got sick in the boat, but I was exhilarated! When all settled down, and I untied myself, the deck was filled with fish.

A beautiful sunset after the storm – watching dolphins jump through pink, blue and purple surf.

The next morning, a mother brings her newborn. It has no spots.  She helps him or her to the surface for air. She doesn’t let us too close at first, but it is such an honor that she trusts us enough to let us see.  Already this kid wants to play. The mom reminds me of a human mother explaining to her child about dogs – some are friendly and some not, so always be cautious. She brings her baby over to me, and lets the baby swim between herself and me. We look in each other’s eyes.  Damn, it’s frustrating to have to come up for air. I wish I could stay down longer! With only 50% lung capacity, I only have about 26 seconds. Seems like longer, though, like time changes under water.



Dolphins seem so loving, playful, wise and free.  They don’t hold on to their feelings.  They experience them, then let them go. They are good role models that way. I want to be more like them.  Let go sooner.  No getting stuck in negativity, apathy or fear.

These beings have completely opened my heart.  It is so full, and hard to contain, that tears come. I stand on the bow, our last night and watch the moonbeams and star beams in the water. Then suddenly there is a weird sort of shininess. “Phosphorescence,” the captain says, and we all jump in and swirl around in it. Every movement creates more glowing, swirling, dazzling, glittering light. Seems like magic.

Off the boat, I continue to feel the rock and roll – especially in enclosed places, like bathrooms. I still don’t have balance the next day.  My sea legs trick me and I bounce off walls and have “wooze” attacks. All I can think about is when can I go back?



25 thoughts on “Loving Atlantic Spotted Dolphins

  1. Last summer we sea kayaked and observed orcas … and orca families … not nearly as intimately as your experience … but evoked similar emotions even from afar. Quite amazing! Love to you and Bill!


    • Beautiful, Mary. The only time I have ever seen them was one trip to the pacific northwest. Even from afar, they are magnificent beings. I remember the mist that the air from their blowholes created – so high into the air melding with the early morning mist on the water. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks for sharing this marvelous encounter, Mary. I envy you. I swam with dolphins in a much more controlled environment at Anthony’s Key off Nicaragua. I love the way their skin feels and kissing their noses.


  3. Loved it, Mary. Especially the part about tying yourself to a post to experience the storm – reminded me of Ulysses tying himself to the mast so he could hear and see the Sirens but wouldn’t succumb to their enchantments. I’m gonna send you a copy of my Sailing the Sea of Cortez that I wrote several years back. I’ve always wanted to swim with dolphins also but haven’t gotten the chance yet. I have a friend who gave birth to her son in the waters off the Bahamas and I swam with him when he was about a year old – that was pretty close!!


    • I have noticed that dolphin energy has a lot of childlike innocence. I have been on a few trips where there was at least one child. They gravitate toward the kids…and the pregnant women. One lady I knew didn’t even know she was pregnant yet, and the female dolphins surrounded her, sonaring her belly, and when she got home, the test confirmed it. Pretty cool. If you ever want to swim with them, I have good info. I can tell you the places in Hawaii too. You will do it, Dennis. I can see it.


  4. Oh Mary, your description took me right back there to that first dolphin trip. I could feel once again the pitching of the boat all through that long stormy night. I remember holding on to the frame of the bed, bracing myself with each new heave thinking, “Ok, THIS is the one that’s gonna capsize the boat, for sure.” You captured a magical whimsy time beautifully. The honor it was that these “wild animals” chose to stay and explore us, play with us, restore us to the beauty of life that our stresses had drained from us. Your loving energy as you swirled and twirled with those joyful teachers surely reassured them that not all two-leggeds intend to pollute and exploit their native waters. You were – and are – our best ambassador to the nature world. Please keep your posts coming!


    • Thank you, Kris. You know just how to go right into the heart. I am so happy to have shared dolphin experiences with you. Thank you for saying what you said about the dolphins “being reassured that not all two-leggeds intend to pollute and exploit their native waters.” I hope that is true. Remember on one trip, they brought us trash? Wow. I feel so discouraged about our oceans right now. It is hard to stay positive, and I don’t know how they can. Although, their spirits seem much more evolved than ours.


  5. Dearest Mary, this is a profound sharing in so many ways. You wre so gifted, and gifting! You know the dolphins brought me to live in the magical land of New Zealand. I owe my New Life to them. HO to our incredible water brothers and sisters! And YOU!


    • HO to our incredible water brothers and sisters indeed! They know just how to get us where we need to be – if that is inner or outer. They have certainly touched your and my life profoundly. Thank you for sharing!


  6. Sitting here having lunch, reading, all good. A sadness, a dreary day? a father, Florida, porpoise , slapping the side of the boat, running with the waves, calling the porpoise. They come, Running, with the boat, with the father , with me and now remembrance. A glass of wine please!
    Good memorises, on a dreary day. thank you Mary.


    • I’m glad it brought up good memories on a dreary day, Michele. I would like to hear more about this. A glass of wine for me too, please!


  7. Thanks, Mary, that was an awesome post. I remember you telling me, and picturing that as I read. i would love to experience their friendship one day.


  8. Mary Mary Mary, love this. Your words invite me to actually feel like I was there with you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words, experience, and love.


    • Thank you Helene! I know you love the ocean, as I do. You encourage me to keep doing this, and I appreciate that so much. Thank you.


  9. I am so woozy and off balace when I get back to land. I got “motion sick” the last time I came ashore from sailing for three days. Did you know that someone has found a way to image sounds that dolphins make? When they throw a rubber ducky in the water the dolphins make a sound that produces an IMAGE of the duck!!!!!! We will be able to communicate soon. Just thought you might like to know….. :0)


    • Yes, they are finally proving that other animals besides us have actual language! I have had the experience of “talking” to dolphins through pictures, but as soon as I am cognitively aware of it, it goes away. New study done on prairie dog language too. One chirp that we hear has been shown to be a whole paragraph, full of descriptive information.


    • Thanks Mike! I love stories of inter-species contact and connection. I saw on fb this morning a cat and a red squirrel playing. And there is this goat and horse near here that are always together. I don’t know…something about that is very inspiring to me.


  10. Dolphins are so special, and what a wonderful encounter you had at play with them Mary, and that Mother Dolphin bringing her baby… Trusting her senses ..
    They are so healing and I feel that their Sonar clicks send out a special vibration that opens ones heart and heals on many levels..

    I know one time my guides through some channelled messages spoke of Dolphin and Whale as our group said how terrible they were both being persecuted .. They said how important they both were to the oceans.. For both were keepers of vibration upon our planet. But how both would elect to leave this planet when their vibrations were no longer needed..

    Which gave rise to many a thought for their mass beaching since that message came to me..

    A truly lovely post and stunning photo’s Mary of the Dolphin.. I am also pleased you were ok after the change in weather and the storm that ensued..

    Love and Blessings

    Sue ❤


    • Thank you, Sue. I also believe their sonar vibrations open the heart and heal many things. I can feel it in my body, especially my heart. Whales too – their songs under water, like wind chimes in the chest. It saddens me that both are leaving. They are persecuted. I don’t know how long they will be able to stay. I don’t think their vibration will ever be not needed. Maybe not appreciated or honored. I am grateful for my time with them. So grateful. I will write more about different dolphin encounters. Spinners as well as spotted. Spinners are in the Pacific.

      So many species are leaving. It’s hard to have faith that it is all perfect sometimes. Birth and Death are both hard transitions, and they seems to be happening at the same time.

      Thank you for coming by, Sue. Always always good to share with you.
      Peace and Love

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes Mary I too believe they are working for the planet and have the capacity to heal with their sonar, I will look forward to more stories about your encounters with Dolphins. Thank YOU.. I so enjoyed xx


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