My oldest sister Katherine is down from Long Island, heading back tomorrow. I was fortunate enough to have a beautiful day today to take her, my youngest sister Busy, my brother-in-law Tim, and thier son Lucas out on the boat this afternoon. After running down to the Jacksonville Pier and taking some photos from a perspective few people bother to see, we headed back north, just above idle speed, and saw a pod of probably a dozen dolphin between us and the shore. It looked at first like they’d herded up a bunch of bait fish and were feeding, but it soon became evident they were making little dolphins.
This shot needs to be seen big on Flickr. I’ll post an update as soon as I get everything uploaded. UPDATE: Pics are posted. Enjoy. I’d idle up close to the dolphins, then shut off the engine so that we were quiet, and Katherine and I each shot over 100 frames. Granted, there were a lot of dorsal fins, but a few caught the essense of these smart, interesting animals as they did what animals do in the spring. There was some just play going on as well. Twice, a pair of dolphin dove directly under the boat, once so shallow we could see them as they slid beneath us. The blue of the water turned their grey skin a greenish hue just below the surface of the water. Tim remarked that he’d never seen that many dolphin in one place before. I have, but never that close to the boat. It was an amazing thing to watch, and I felt priveleged to be able to see it.
I’m also very happy I’m able to share some of my good fortune with my sisters. For a long time, I have been somewhat estranged from a good bit of my family … not for any specific reason, but just because that was how life happened. Our paths diverged, and we didn’t see a lot of each other for a lot of years. When my third sister, Margaret, was killed in a car crash 3 years ago, it made it difficult for me to grieve properly. I simply didn’t know her well enough any more to know how I felt. I was sad, yes, but it took me a long time to come to the realization that it was never going to be ther 4 of us again. I know that event has caused us all to try harder to be closer. Today was, in my mind at least, a great opportunity for that.
Meg was with us in spirit today. She was the real animal lover. She’d have so loved seeing the dolphins play in the ocean today. I think we all felt it, but nobody said a word. I don’t think we needed to.
Meanwhile, tonight’s blog is a study in contrasts. I’m on the deck, with a middling good cigar, on a wireless connection blogging by lamplight. Gotta love blogging under the stars. It’s quiet, it’s cool, a good time for reflection. We had a really good time on the boat today, even though it lasted less than 2 hours. They all came back here for dinner, and now, the dishes are washed, the house is empty, I’ve watched “The Wire” (and there’s only one episode to go … but that’s another post), life is good. That can change in an instant, but for now, life is good. I think I’ll just hang on to that for a while.