It’s 5:20 am. There’s a faint gray glow in the sky. The sun is just beginning to rise behind a thick cloud cover. I sip my coffee on the front porch, look out over the gently lapping water and wonder if today will be today. We’ve tried almost every morning since we’ve arrived here, but are always foiled by bad weather and heavy currents.
I hear footsteps approaching on the wet grass. It’s our captain. “Today is good. We will go,” he says with characteristic brevity.
I finish my coffee quickly and go to wake up Hugo. I wrestle his drowsy body into a life vest as Gareth packs the camera and a snack, just in case it takes longer than we expect.
The sun creeps higher and pinkens the sky. The motor hums reassuringly as we slice through the water.
I’m really not sure how far offshore we have to go. I’ve become used to the ambiguities of life here, of only understanding a fraction of what’s happening at any given time. I just trust that the captain will find what we’re looking for.
Hugo is nestled between my knees. He doesn’t really have a place to sit in the narrow boat, so I keep a tight hand on him as we speed forward.
The captain points: “There, I see them.” The race is on.
Suddenly they’re everywhere, hundreds of them, surrounding us. Leaping and splashing, a soft pffff as each one takes a breath.
Sometimes it’s just a dorsal fin cutting above the surface, sometimes they leap, full body out of the water in twos and threes. We see their eyes looking at us.
It’s time to head back to land. The mist has burned off the mountains and we get a clear view of our house as we come around.
We’re home in time for second breakfast.
When I talk to our captain later that afternoon, he tells me (with more than a little self-satisfaction) that the fancy resort next door sent out some boats that same morning and never found the dolphins.
It was nice to have the pod to ourselves.