In my Dingle years, someone remarked that no matter how many people were swimming with Fungi, each and every one of them believed to get his own very special attention.
This may sound weird to those who have never swum with a dolphin, but it has, however, a familiar ring to it. This experience is far away from facts, but approaches a persuasion. There is a strong resemblance with the perception of Jesus Christ.
Endearing as this parallel may seem, it also casts a gruesome shadow. The teachings of Jesus have often turned themselves against his disciples. So many christians have been murdered, tortured and oppressed and that goes for many beliefs all over the world.
The meek, who were supposed to inherit the Earth, were an easy target for their ruthless opponents. Yet, in spite of all massacres, all distortions by the church and all inconclusive evidence, the spirit of Jesus’ teachings became true in its consequences and continued to remain intact over the centuries.
Though dolphins have been known from the emergence of mankind as friendly and playful and sometimes even seeking to communicate, the massive interest they have today only dates back a few decades.
The meekness of the early christians shows a heart-rending comparison. Not only have dolphins been appropriated by commercial entrepreneurs, massacred for fishing interests or killed by negligence, indifference or ignorance, but their world is also increasingly hemmed in by those who mean to protect dolphins against themselves.
At long last a community developed that recognised the dolphin soul as akin to their own. These were the people who gathered in Dingle, to swim off Sladeen with Fungi. In the nineties we met each other on street corners, in our favourite pubs and everywhere within ‘The Dingle Triangle’ the tribal unity flowered. Swimming with Fungi had a double charm. In the water it was the dolphin experience, unrivalled by any other kind of encounter and on the shore the cheers gave an extra brother and sister dimension to it. Those were the days, my friends, but they ended rather abruptly when Fungi’s total interest was won over by the tourist boats. The irishdolphins website kept reporting on the voyages and whereabouts of other wildfriendly dolphins, but the heart of Fungi had definitely foundered.
Meanwhile near Doolin another solitary dolphin emerged. ‘Dusty’ was even more playful and happy to swim with everyone who approached her. But instead of Dingle, the swimmers would only meet by chance. The attention factor also worked for Dusty, but resulted in a far more personal perception and the bonding forces degenerated to private interests. Nowadays there is only a small hard core of regular swimmers and even their passion is not always shared.
There is nothing wrong with believing in your own relationship to the dolphin, but if you want to go on developing it, don’t underestimate the forces that oppose us. Together we can make our fingers into a fist and welcome everyone who shares our passion. That’s why it is of decisive importance that you and you and all of you attend the conference on solitary dolphins in Dingle from 12 until the 15th of May, before some self-ordained holy custodians succeed in illegalising access to wildfriendly dolphins, except their own.
Information and bookings www.irishdolphins.com/conference