Jan 12, 2015

Thanks for all the fish

After a while it became apparent from the kerfuffle of people about a hundred metres along the beach to our left that there were some animals that we ought to be meeting, so we made our way, blasé like this was a common everyday occurrence, up the beach to see what all the fuss was about.

I took my mobile phone to snap a few pictures but soon realised this was a dreadful mistake as it prevented me from getting in the water; and I found I had a sudden irresistible urge to get in the water, because there were several dolphins swimming up to the twenty or so people who were standing chest-deep in the water holding fish out for them to take.

They were ambling up and down, their fins cresting the swell, occasionally pop their heads up to take a breath, and sidle up to some crafty bugger who'd actually brought some fish, taking the fish with their teeth then sometimes do a little roll, sometimes just a little wriggle of pleasure, and sidle off again, as gentle as you like, before starting off the little ritual again.

It wasn't clear how many there were. Estimates varied between two and six, but I'm sure I saw more than two. The pros amongst the feeders let on that the fish had to be freshly caught, not frozen and thawed, and there was a but of tutting when children got too excited. The dolphins weren't really up for being stroked, but as we had no fish, well, that was academic anyway.

Monica took my phone for me, and I hopped into the water, and it was yes just a bit magical and not just because it's one of those things that we're all supposed to want to do, but because these were wild dolphins that were coming of their own free will and even if they didn't quite trust us humans - and who would - there was a spark in their eyes and a certain easygoing placidity to the whole thing which was just really nice. They came within spitting distance; Eloise said that she was frightened of their sharp-looking teeth but to me they were just sleek and quiet and remarkable creatures.

They must have hung around for half an hour or so before they decided they were full and swum away, and then as the humans climbed out of the water to continue doing whatever it was that they wanted to do, a couple came back for a while and we got a few minutes extra before they zipped off with a casual flipper-flip to do whatever it was that they wanted to do.

Before supper Lyra and I went off to explore the campsite; this consisted of her pushing the toy pram she had borrowed from Benny through muddy puddles and me trying to keep her from going into people's tents and cabins.

The high point of that little episode was seeing a koala in a tree:

The low point was, Nicole having found us at the nearby playground to inform us that tea was ready, Lyra point blank refusing to move leading to a little exasperation and ill-tempered coercion. I'm not very nice when I'm hungry, I'm told.

No comments:

Post a Comment