Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/echeng/303368934/
A swell lumbered towards me and the pod. The dolphins instinctively snapped to attention, and glided into the wave. I saw 6 dolphins flow naturally and gracefully through it. I thought they were playing– surfing– as I have seen dolphins do many times before. I paddled over the wave, turned my head and saw 50 fish shoot into the air. The fish lashed this way and that, straining and gulping to get an extra inch into the air. Some looked as if their eyes were bulging from their bodies from the effort. Two dolphins arced out of the water. Snap. Each was rewarded with a meal, as 48 lucky fish rained back down into the sea.
I had often watched dolphins and other porpoises hunt in teams on BBC Life, but it was something else to experience it first-hand. For 20 minutes, their fishing session proceeded. I didn't want to disturb them nor add any more scars to their already weathered hides with my fins, so I didn't catch any waves. Instead, I paddled towards the pod and just watch. I was entangled in a moment that seemed to last an eternity. When they had had their fill, the dolphins left and didn't look back. I like to think that this is how my dolphins spend all of their time– jubilant, loving, hunting when necessary, undisturbed by the occasional human spectator. I imagine their lives are harder than mine has ever been– fighting to survive everyday, trapped in a treacherous icy mass of water. I may not know the truth, but I'm a dreamer, and I'll see my jubilant pod another day.