To put a little context behind the following story, we (my travel accomplice and I!) have just spent the last week and a half under the blue skies of Portugal for a vitamin d top up before the English winter hits us in earnest. Whilst there we took up the opportunity to go out wild dolphin trekking in the Atlantic.
We’ve cleared the end of the harbour so our navigator now puts the throttle down full. Escaping the shoreline quickly we hit the incoming waves hard, lifting us up pretty high and then landing with a thud and splash.
Will we find the dolphins we search and hope for?
The excitement is palpable.
All passengers aboard are searching the vista for a giveaway sign, a protruding fin or two.
The excitement builds.
Another mile from shore, still no dolphins but plenty of beauty out at sea anyway. The blue of the horizon almost melts into the blue of the skies seamlessly.
Another mile out, still more open blue but no sign of dolphins. Then it hits us. On the horizon, many splashes like we haven’t yet seen. Moving closer at pace the splashes are bodies breaking the surface. Dolphins!
The excitement is at fever pitch.
As we get nearer it’s clear that this isn’t just a few dolphins though but a pod of 100s!
The hairs at the back of my neck are on red alert. The other passengers are chattering excitedly, all readying our cameras and bracing ourselves for something very special.
We cut the engine. There is sudden silence. Then the gentle rise and fall splashes of the mega pod and their gentle and magical chatterings between each other.
Excitement turns to a feeling of beautiful overwhelm. How do you prepare for this?
We are literally surrounded by 100s of dolphins. There is stunned silence in the boat for a while, followed by gasps of excitement and then the clicks of cameras as we all try to take in the majesty around us.
My own eyes well a little. Completely overwhelmed at what is happening around us.
Dolphin after dolphin after dolphin. Almost as far as you can see it seems! Where were they hiding?!
Curious by nature many come up to the boat for a closer look at their friendly assailants.
Lent over the side of the boat making eye contact with a wild dolphin already hits high in the memory banks as one of those pinch yourself, is this really happening moments.
Cameras click. I fire off some quick shots on my phone. I won’t be winning any wildlife photography competitions but pictures and words can never really do this justice anyway.
I swallow the rather large lump of overwhelm in my throat, put down the camera and just try to absorb and live the moment. My mind of course has already told me that this is a very, very special moment truly to be enjoyed.
Most of the rest of the boat is starting to do (or has already done) the same. Putting cameras down and enjoying viewing with the naked eye.
Our on-board marine biologist tells us this is only the third time in all her trips out that she has been in the midst of a pod so large. We already knew we were lucky but this news makes us realise how lucky.
There are simply no words. I have long since given in totally to the moment. No sense to come from me out here. I just want to attempt to take it all in – impossible as that proves to be.
All too soon our time with this super pod is up. These are wild dolphins after all and they no doubt have to move on and find breakfast.
We move back to shore.
Wow! I try to fully comprehend what just happened. Savour these moments to the memory banks of truly special moments. Once in a lifetime if we’re fortunate.
I don’t need to check my camera to know I will not have the perfect shot to support the magnificence of what we’ve just witnessed. How can you? Truly amazing moments.
Savour Your Own Special Moments
Life isn’t all rush.
If we don’t stop and enjoy the view occasionally we risk not seeing and enjoying the many magical moments that may surround us. Some, like the story above, are more obvious than others. However, there are also magical moments to be absorbed and enjoyed on a daily basis.
Breathe in, enjoy the view. Life offers up plenty of magical moments if we just stop to recognise them.
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