Feb 15, 2012
After leaving the penguins behind, I stayed on the upper deck with Raul. I figured since the seas had gotten rougher that I would have a better chance at not being sick if I was in the fresh air, looking forward.
After awhile, deck hand Richard came up and sat with us as well. I attempted conversation with the two of them, but it wasn’t the greatest as neither of them spoke English and my Spanish is still only in single words, not sentences. Of course, I was able to ask their names, as well as show them pictures from my trip so far on my Lumix Waterproof camera. Richard knew Armando (my snorkeling with the sea lions guy). We were able to chat briefly about a few things and they taught me a few new Spanish words.
After about an hour, Raul all of a sudden said ‘Dolphins!’. Richard immediately grabbed my hand to get me to come with him. He took me down the steep ladder off the top of the boat and directly to the very front tip of the boat where he told me to sit with my feet over the edge. All of this through hand motions and Spanish.
The next thing I knew there were three dolphins racing with the boat, DIRECTLY beneath my feet. My feet were about 2-3 feet from the water and the dolphins were less than a foot under the water. When Raul would slow the boat down, the dolphins would slow down … if he sped up as fast as he could go, the dolphins sped up right along with us.
Besides the two or three that were swimming directly under the boat, there were half a dozen more doing tricks, jumping and doing displays in the water.
The next thing I knew, one of the dolphins came up for air, spraying me and completely covering me. Richard was lying down on the other side of the boat on his stomach and was getting sprayed in the face too. I’m sure he’s seen a display of dolphins like this a million times, but I think he enjoyed it a little extra that day because I was so excited.
Up until this point I think I was strickly in awe of the beauty. Once I was covered in dolphin spray I shed one little tear. I was overwhelmed with the beauty around me. Overwhelmed and thankful for having this opportunity. And, believe it or not, I was glad that my camera was broken so that I didn’t have the urge to take it out and photograph this. Dolphins are very hard to photograph as they move so quickly and I would have wasted precious time trying to capture them instead of taking in the whole amazing scene.
It was an absolutely beautiful moment meant just for me … no work, no worries, just pure beautiful enjoyment. It was at this time that I knew I was in love with the Galapagos Islands that no question, I would be returning.
We must have stayed and ‘played’ with the dolphins for about 30 minutes and I enjoyed every single second. I don’t believe I’ve been this happy in a long long time. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in the open sea air and be so close to nature. Dolphins are so curious and playful. I really just wanted to jump in with them, but I didn’t think Captain Raul would let me do that! Although looking back, maybe I should have asked!
I honestly can’t explain my feelings of that day other than feeling beauty rush through my body and a healthy energy rush through my veins. I feel like that one day simply changed my way of thinking. Somehow, weirdly and ‘hippy-like’ I felt connected to nature. It was a moment when I could feel all of my stress just leave my body and I felt completely rejuvenated.