That’s what I’m saying. The sun is in a sheer blue sky. The water is clearer than it has been for a long time. I’m ready to jump into my suit. The video camera is in the underwater housing and this is screwed tight upon the waterwing. Suit outside out, socks on. Even the text Rod asked me to send him if she would pop up while he was taking a walk, I have already keyed in: Lo and behold, Her Majesty has arrived. This way I only have to confirm and send it when she surfaces.
The water seems to ripple ever further towards the shore.
Meanwhile I sit on the rear balcony of the bus, burning a tan. The skin foils that make my nose look like puff pastry are already third generation, and it is still only June.
We used to think of sinking them speedboats and jet skis to seventh hell as they took Dusty away from us. But now, at White Strand, they often bring the dolphin in. This also goes for body boards, canoes and sailing boats. Like an angler his float we keep a close watch on them. Baits and buoys.
And then, all of a sudden she appears at the slipway. Diagonally across the bay in one breath! I get into my suit just in time to ask Kate to zip me up.
Weight belt on, bottle slung upon my shoulders and blindly looking for the straps. Like a weightlifter I walk down the beach. Mono on and a floating nice little rest from all my exertions.
Then a poised opening of swimming at the surface, because I want to save as much compressed air as I can. If I hold my breath and every now and then blow it out fast and inhale again I keep afloat enough to breathe through my snorkel. Then I arrive at the two-balls-chain. I exchange my snorkel for my regulator, blow out my breath and slowly sink to the seabed.
I feel the bottle at the back of my neck. Next time I will have to rig it lower. For the rest it’s going quite all right. Sometimes it’s slightly hard to maintain my balance. Maybe I should footle my flippers on.
Then I hear a tiny sound, turn around and look straight into the eyes of Dusty. She swims around me in tight circles and disappears into the haze. I keep on swimming easily, so my air lasts me longer. Where the weeds border on the sand the most is going on. Hordes of hermit crabs with their shell-hats rapidly disperse. The water is so clear that one feels tempted to drink it. Then Dusty is back. I squirm myself most impossibly in order to follow her. A good photograph may evoke an image of grace, on video it is in real time, even if she swims partly or even for a short time fully out of the picture.
Dusty swims down at the mooring rope. I follow her and hold myself down by the anchor. She sways vertically around me and turns her belly towards me. Her right eye is straight in front of the lens. Mostly she has her eyes only half open, but here her eye is not only wide open, she also turns it in different positions.
I decide, it can’t get any better than this and swim back to the beach. I see her no more, but she must have been swimming right behind and/or above me, for when I take off my monofin she is there. And a shipload of kids. I do many good works in silence, so, unnoticed but worthily, I withdrew.