We started the morning with a pod of dolphins swimming very chill around the Indigo as we cruised around the dolphin grounds. Unlike the experience yesterday, the dolphins weren’t as active and weren’t playing with each other or the bow as much. They seemed to be just out of a relaxing swim. The pod was about 12 spotted dolphins. When captain Geoff gave us the okay to get into the water with these magnificent creatures, we all squealed with joy!
We got onto the ropes behind the swim deck of the Indigo and were towed along with the boat. Once we were on the ropes, after the initial adjustment to a completely new sensation and the excitement of being with the dolphins, I was able to feel oneness with the rope, the other people on the rope, the water and the dolphins.
The first two dolphins I saw came very close to me on the right side (about 5′) and seemed to be intently checking me out for a few seconds, then moved away, but while doing so, one of them decided to have a poop which covered my body. I’d been peed on by a dolphin before, but this fecal experience was a whole new level of intimacy for me. They say its good luck if one gets pooped on by a seagull. I had to wonder if that translates to dolphins. I certainly felt very blessed to be this close, swimming with these beautiful spotted dolphins.
My next encounter was seeing multiple dolphins swimming about around all of us. I began to wonder why I hadn’t heard sonar or sounds. And then within seconds, I felt sonar very intensely on the right side of my body. I looked to the right and watched this one beautiful dolphin gracefully moving through the water with such ease. His movements were beautiful and completely captivating.
Up ahead, I saw a group of 4 dolphins, one of which appeared to be very curious about the boat’s propeller. I was nervous as this adolescent dolphin seemed to come closer to the propeller than I thought was safe. In this pod, one of the dolphins had scarring on her left side and another seemed to have a bite (prop or shark) taken out of his fluke.
More dolphins swam beside me and around me, I saw them making love and some of the males being rejected by the females, which made me chuckle a bit. The would go belly up and tap the female with their fin but there was no reciprocation.
There were also some little squabbles between a few of the dolphins. The dolphins were bumping each other and chirped when the social structures were encroached upon. I imagine this was related to the mating or the males hoping to mate with the females.
I saw 4 dolphins in the sand below, digging their rostrums into the sand. They seemed to be very playful, rubbing their sides and their pectoral fins in the sand as well.
I had a few interactions with a pair of dolphins coming up so close to me that I could have easily touched them. With this pair, I was able to make eye contact with the younger dolphin for a dew seconds, on 3 occasions. I felt a lot of sonar throughout the interactions with this pair.
At the end of our dolphin swim, we saw the whole pod together swimming, which had only happened one or two other times in this 2 hour interaction. Several times, I saw them come to the surface to breathe and one time, they swam with me for a period of time at the surface. I felt like I was moving in the water as if I was a dolphin. I’d embodied their energy and really melded with my environment. I was and remained in AWE. For this experience, I have immense gratitude.
We had another profound experience on this day, that was diving in the deep water of the Gulf Stream. It was completely different from our time with the dolphins, as the depth there was about 30 feet- the sand and all its creatures were completely visible. In the depths of the Gulf Stream, the only thing visible was the endless blue sea and the rays of sunshine creating the most beautiful vectors into the unknown. Free diving into the depths was so special to me, as diving is something that I generally get a little anxious about. In this setting, I was completely calm and relaxed. I dove to depths I hadn’t reached before and it was peaceful and enjoyable in every cell of my being. I wanted to dive deeper and deeper and follow the sun rays throughout the deep blue hues forever. This moment of peacefulness was unlike any I’d previously experienced.