Things I Like About Living At the Beach IV

dolphin-2.jpgDolphins.  I’d never had so many so close to my boat as I had today.  But let me back up just a bit.

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.

dolphin-1.jpg

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.

sisters.jpg

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.

–scene–

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Filed under Beach Living, Boat, Boat Stuff, Family, Fauna, Neptune Beach, Photos, Things I Love about Living at the Beach, Thoughts

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