40. Waiting for Dolphins

At a place called Monkey Mia, on the coast of Western Australia local dolphins have visited the shore for many years. They aren’t trained or encouraged to do so. They do so usually to a pattern but entirely of their own accord and in their own time.

On the day we visited as part of my backpackers trip, we were ushered down to the shoreline by the National Park Ranger. Explanations were given as the eager crowd formed an orderly but expectant line just above the lapping water. And then.
….we waited
…and waited
…and waited.

IMG_8138There was tantalising spotting of fins and every swirl in the water attracted every pair of eyes straining hopeful that this was it and they would come. They didn’t.

Of all that crowd at the beginning, two hours later the only people left on that shoreline were myself and travel buddy Claire from France. Separated by decades in age, thousands of kilometres in geography and vastly different backgrounds there was something in both of us that meant we didn’t leave.

We were running out of time. The dolphins, understandably had all the time in the world. We would have to leave soon.
And still we waited.
..and waited.

To pass the time, Claire had just been teaching me some encouraging French phrases we might send to the dolphins. My contribution was suddenly remembering I had some chocolate chip cookies with me, which might keep us going.

It was just as I took my first bite that as if from nowhere six fins with dolphins attached appeared in the water directly in front of us. There had been no sign of them coming in. Everyone else rushed down to the shoreline and the interpretive experience continued but for Claire and I that moment we had was worth every second of waiting. It was utterly thrilling and a memory I’m sure will be treasured by two people on opposite sides of the globe for a long time.

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