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!”
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?