Sunday, January 01, 2006

2 Jan - Me and my shadow

A beautiful morning - the sun radiating warmth, the surface almost glassy and one small fin moving slowly around Bay2.
I sat on the beach letting the sun warm me and waited to see if any other dolphins would arrive. I chatted to an English tourist who wanted to know if it was safe to snorkel in these waters. I pointed silently to the fin in the bay. Isn't that a dolphin, he asked. I told him that it was and he asked if it was true that where there are dolphins there are no sharks. I suggested that it was probably because the dolphins would take off if a hungry predator was in the vicinity. If he were there the dolphins didn't have to outrun the shark, only go faster than he could. I'm not sure that he felt reassured by this but he got into the water and started exploring the reefs, which were partially exposed by the low tide.
The dolphin came in close to shore so I slipped into the water to greet it. Silly me. It swam straight out through the gap in the reef. I meandered around the exposed reefs for a while and then returned to shore to warm up.
Shortly after the young D returned, still alone. I generously decided to give it another chance and this time it responded. It came straight over to me. When it was under me I could see that it was Scratch ( see post of 1 Jan ). I noticed two smaller parallel scratches over one eye which I recognized from previous encounters, so the deep scratch must have happened very recently. Anyway, it has enabled me to give him/her a name now. (I'll go with "him" for the time being). He swam under my board and led me at a leisurely pace out to the reef. We covered probably 200 metres together. Sometimes he would hover about 50 cms below the surface and I would dive to the bottom more or less under him. As I floated to the surface he would time his ascent so we broke the surface together. He gradually drifted out to see and I drifted into shore.
We has an almost identical encounter about half an hour later but this time I started to swim with him before he took off suddenly. When I returned to me board I could see a grey shape under it ( the visibility was good ) waiting for me. This time when we reached the reef line a dolphin with a tall narrow fin, which I did not recognize, had come into the bay with a tiny calf which could only have been a couple of weeks old. She kept about 20 metres from but,at one time, I saw the shape of the calf coming toward me at about 3 metres depth. It was keen to check on a patch of seagrass which was below me. I wasn't sure if it was aware of my presence. It nosed into the grass and then seemed to sense me and my board above it. It was back to mum in a big hurry. The three Ds and I stayed in the same area for a while before the 3 of them left fairly quickly for the open water.
The shore had become quite busy as today was a holiday and one of the first summery days this summer. I prefer anonymity so I exited the water at the far end of the beach and left quietly.


Blogger cixelsyd said...

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Wishing you:

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9:16 PM  
Blogger jacfin said...

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5:18 AM  

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