This first full day of my Outer Banks journey, I headed to the Manteo waterfront for an 8:30 a.m. Dolphin Cruise with Captain Johnny. My sister, Peggy gave it to me for my birthday back in March. She turned sixty the same month and likes gifts that offer the recipient a memorable experience; get out and do something you might not otherwise do. For her Big Birthday, I gave her a ticket to see the musical “Grease” at our hometown regional theater. Because I couldn’t send her alone, I had to buy myself a ticket. We had an enjoyable evening that we may not have taken the time for given our busy schedules. Heading out into the Roanoke Sound, I thought of my sister and how pleased she’d be with the perfect May morning and how I looked forward to my time on the water, watching with anticipation.
‘Captain Johnny’ at the boat’s helm was actually the grandson of the real Captain Johnny who founded that cruise business. He told us over the microphone how some dolphins stay in the sound and others live in the ocean. They prefer water that’s about four feet deep. I was amazed that the huge body of water beneath us was only around 3 – 4 feet. The captain guided the pontoon-style boat under the bridge and then began to pick up speed. A fisherman had radioed him that he’d seen dolphins. All six of us passengers searched for the rise and fall of dorsal fins. One by one we each spotted the creatures pointing in the direction of our siting.
What I loved most was seeing a Mama Dolphin with her baby swimming in tandem. The captain told us he could spot a newborn dolphin by the ‘fetal folds’ that appeared like zebra stripes where they’d been curled up in fetal position before they were born. I thought of my grandson, Baker and how he had little folds at his wrists that are now filled out as a one year old.
The dolphins were scattered this morning, never more than a couple swimming in the same area. Captain Johnny told us you never know how many you’ll find or where they’ll be traveling. In the area with lots of dolphins, he killed the motor and let us just watch, as we stood on the boat that was gently rocking back and forth. Ibis and egrets and pelicans flew over and landed on the shore of a tiny island. Fisherman worked at a boat nearby, pulling up their crab pots to see if they’d made a catch. It was a spectacular morning on the water.
I’ve loved dolphins since I was a girl and watched the television show, “Flipper.” As I remember it (since I don’t have time to do a fact check!), the boy on the show lived in the Florida Keys and he got to swim with his porpoise friend, Flipper. That animal had the cutest ‘happy’ sound and eyes that seemed to smile. I just wanted to hug him!
You won’t get that close to a Roanoke Sound dolphin. Captain Johnny says it’s a Felony Offense to do anything to lure the animal including feeding, touching, etc. A sign said that not only may you not smoke or drink alcohol on the boat, you can’t have bananas– because supposedly the dolphins won’t come nearby if there are bananas. Captain Johnny said to Google it, but again, I haven’t had time for that fact check. All I can say is I’m glad my banana and sunflower butter sandwich was in my car!
After the tour, I was at the counter of a coffee shop purchasing my cup of French Roast and a bookmark entitled, “Advice from a Dolphin” by Ilan Shamir caught my eye. Reading through the list, I liked the one, “Glide Through the Day with Ease.” I thought of how fluid those dolphins move, so gracefully covering their miles. How nice it would be if humans could move with more ease.
Some Solo Journeys, I meet people in my path that teach me things– and I may on this trip. But today, it seemed that watching those incredible creatures provided a relief, seeing them glide through life when it can be so bumpy for we humans.
I only wish I could have heard the dolphins happy sound and seen their smiling eyes.
How About You?
Which of the bits of Advice from a Dolphin do you like?
How would you want to see it applied?
11 thoughts on “Dolphin Morning: Animals in Our Path”
My boys have taught me that fun for the sake of fun is just as important as accomplishing some goal or ticking a box on a checklist. I think dolphins teach us a similar lesson. Jumping, gliding, soaring, etc for no purpose other than it feels good. This is a good lesson to learn. Love and light to you!!
Yes, children are so wise in how they see life. We adults get too locked into accomplishing– doing instead of being. You’re right about dolphins having the same idea as your boys!
Best to you, Abigail– and to your family,
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What a neat experience!! I, too, love to give (and get) experiential gifts vs. something that sits on a shelf. Your sister knows you well 🙂 I liked the “be playful” advice, and I need to do more of that. ~ Have a wonderful, happy trip!
Thanks so much for reading and for sharing. Yeah, my sister does know me pretty well! We played outside a lot together when we were kids and we both prefer being outside to inside. Yes, Be Playful sounds like a good one to live by.
Best to you in doing that,
Bring it on! This is what you are all about. There are no negative things that go in your life. The Dolphins are interesting as they connect with humans, yet remain in a distance to lure you in. They seem to be having fun and you know they are doing a life’s work. I seek to be a body of water. Return home safely.
I like how you say that the dolphins “are doing a life’s work”– and they are. Fulfilling their purpose in the grand scheme of things. Also to think that they are close enough to connect with humans but yet they are more attractive because they’re at a distance– not controlled by us. Interesting to think about!
Thanks for your good wishes.
Best to You,
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You are welcome.
Oh so happy this turned out to be a great birthday gift. I would have loved seeing the dolphin with you! Yes, Flipper was one of my favorites too! Guess I would choose Have a Playful Spirit as it makes life more fun and adventurous and I have certainly seen that as I watch and play with grandchildren.
Life is more fun as we look at it through children’s eyes!
Yes, it was a great birthday gift– so Thanks again. I agree that having grandchildren helps us with having a more Playful Spirit. And you have lots of ‘play’ time with you five!
Wonderful story of your latest journey, Connie. My favourite bit of dolphin advice is “be curious”
We were fortunate to see dolphins on one of my birthdays, off Gibraltar – like you we had to keep our distance, but it was a fabulous experience 🐬
Interesting that you saw them on your birthday as my friend said they are a sign of good fortune– like a birthday wish being granted! Being curious leads to many adventures– so I wish you well with that.
Best to You,