I could barely sleep this night, still my excitement was enormous. Wriggling and jiggling about.
Actually we had not thought at all of going for a swim. In the morning the wind was blowing quite strong and although the ocean stayed calm, I almost started freezing when thinking of changing into this still wet suit. Probably the water would be very murky anyway! So we set out for Ballyvaughan to have our mails checked and maybe to visit the Tea Room.
I love this Tea Room. It is an extraordinary place within flowers of any color and type, a place to sit back, watch people, have a nice cup of tea or even write. And so it became that I found myself sitting in the winter garden, caressed by the sun, enjoying with admiration the magnificent garden. I pondered the last day when the ocean was almost boiling of dolphins that had gathered right before our noses for some hunting. Dolphins. And, the moment Jan had decided to join me for a tea, I suddenly insisted: 'Let's go for a swim, RIGHT NOW!' The very cautious objection, the wind might still be very strong was dismissed by my much stronger inner conviction of the absolute right moment. Hence we drove, pedal to the metal, straight to Pollenawatch, found the parking, I secretly had requested for, threw all stuff over our shoulders to push off downhill to our place on the rocks, totally ignoring the ever-trying-to-bite-us horse.
Dusty was nowhere to be seen. A canoe, a few swimmers in the water. Waveless ocean. The wind had calmed down, it was almost warm. A charming silence was hanging above this place that, more than one time in August had been packed with people. We changed unhurriedly, no haste. And there, the canoe returned from the Second Cove, Dusty in tow. Just in time! Now rush into the water! Quick check of the weight belt, put on the fin, take the wing and let's get going. 'What a muck!' it fitted exactly our worst fears and there was already a little disappointment spreading, yet we had hoped to get some new photos and videos of Dusty. We had taken extra care to get the camera ready.
And suddenly everything went on like in a dream. We went a bit more out hoping for a better visibility and Dusty followed. She came quite close, enjoyed to be stroked on her back, swam in circles around us and Jan still saw a good chance to get some good pictures despite of the murky water. I dived, she came, turned her belly, now me belly to belly with her, another turn. Now she came straight up to me, face to face, turning away and go for air at the same time. Dive down again, 'Where is she now? There she is!'
Suddenly she stood vertically in the water, pectoral fins close to the body, hanging like a mummy in the water. I tried to copy her. Her beak at my belly. Silence. No expectations. I reached out to touch her chin. It was the first time, she let me do this. I was very quiet, cautious. I swam backwards and commenced moving the mono in a very gentle way, she followed, her head at the fin, and started imitating the almost subtle wave-like movement with her neck and head. Then a turning, diving down, getting up to the surface almost synchronized, a feeling of togetherness, of tuning in, of acceptance and respect, a warm, familiar feeling. And all of a sudden she was beside me again, and I laid carefully my arm around her back. How trusting! My hand rested on her side.
Jan did a good job and even after we had exchanged the camera wing and my attention was divided, there still was this harmony between the three of us. Man, that was fantastic!
I would have stayed forever but there was no escape. You should never underestimate the chill of the water and thus we swam back to the shore, continually escorted by our friend, who said goodbye in knee-deep water.
What an adventure! And moreover we also succeeded in documenting how intense communication between Dusty and swimmers can be. See for yourself!