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Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Fri, 9th Aug

Dusty showed herself within five minutes after I had cautiously made my way down the wobbly rocks of Pollenawatch. No warm wet welcome, though. Her dorsal was flagging 'busy' and off she went again. A good thing too, because I had to do some mending on my monofin.

About an hour later I walked down to the pool rock that was already washed over by the larger waves, though the tide was yet to rise for an hour. I lingered on the thought that she might never show up in this turmoil, then placed my heels in the cavities the sea seems to have eaten out for that purpose and launched myself in the right wave. Sitting on top of the waves I slipped into the monofin and made for the mooring stone of Pollenawatch. I banged my sound signature on it with my waterwing and just when I was wondering if she could at all hear me in the noise of water and rattling stones, I saw a faint shadow shoot through the murk. I felt a glee and the colour came back to the water. She might have been there all the time, waiting for me, but not showing herself.

We did our meeting rituals, she shooting by ever closer, circling me and me turning and swimming towards her. Then she let me come beside her and on the down sweep of a wave we dived. Together our volume is more massive and it feels like a running start for the deep. This was a new game and a terrific one. Little play underwater though. The viz did not allow that. After half an hour of playful dizziness in the wild of the waves I felt close to seasick and when I saw a man preparing to go in I slung my gear on the pool rock and pushed myself out whilst riding on a wave.

From there I watched her play around the other swimmer. She was doing a hide and seek game by swiftly changing position. Her favourite move was to do a one-eighty turn in the half-pipe of a wave that was about to smash on the rocks. To be able to steer in water you must go faster than it, so Dusty flashed towards the rocks at suicide speed and then just before crashing she made a graceful curve to totally surprise the swimmer. Her repertoire of water games is truly inexhaustible.

Jan Ploeg

Date Posted: 09/08/2002
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