There is a stiff breeze, which together with the swell and the backwash produces slosh waves. These are easily mistaken for the dorsal fin of a dolphin. Paste this picture in the mind of eager swimmers and it will satisfy all the criteria for wishful watching. In other words, after an hour of watching you see dolphins everywhere. But still, if you see the true fin, suddenly all is beyond doubt. Immediately I send the pre-fabricated text ‘She’s here’ to some soul mates.
I prepared everything meticulously. It’s always a hard labour to work myself into my suit, but it is a lot easier now that I washed my suit through with conditioner.
From the shore I can see the boat lies upside down. From this distance it looks like a dolphin with a false nose. Every now and then it reflects the sunlight. For the time being the waiting is for Her Majesty, but the waves are bold enough to, in the event she does not show up, ride them later. If she does, she’s a bonus.
Yesterday it rained all day and a merciless wind blew straight into the bay. The snow-white surf was of an ugly yellow-brown. When I went in it was high tide and then you’ve got to know very well how to do this. There is this rock finger that protrudes into the water. This does not only break the surf, but also serves as a grip when you walk over the rounded and treacherously slippery boulders, until you walk upon the sand.
The visibility was under 30 cm, but the surface was a feast again. I don’t really know if my timing has improved, or if it was raw wave power, but several times I could keep the pressure on the mono and shot through the brine with a foaming bow wave. There was a lot of froth floating on the waves, close to where the waves were roaring on to the rocks. The trick is to get behind the surf or else there are so many bubbles in the water that you are as blind as a bat in the shallows. I think I emerged several times with a foam hat on my head, just like the seal I photographed three years ago in the Boathouse bay.
It’s two o’clock now and still no Dusty. I always tell people she won’t come ashore, so now I’ll live up to the message myself.
It seemed as if she had been lying in wait for me to go into the water. We met at the boat. After the usual manoeuvres in the dark deep she seemed to be willing to keep more to the surface. The plank that held a crate with empty water bottles to the boat had been dislodged by the waves and only hung on by a kite string. I pulled it loose and let it float, but a moment later Dusty brought it to me. A few times I threw the plank away as far as possible and each time she brought it right back, perfectly balancing it on her melon. Then I took the plank and put it on my forehead. Now Dusty was on my right side, so I put the plank on my forehead, but held on to it with my left hand and acted as if I was pushing it only with my forehead, like she did. I saw her make a narrow dive and look up with a big eye to where I held the plank. And in that eye I saw she understood that I tried to fool her. The next moment she blew a very big air bubble from her blowhole, straight into my face.
This makes my month.