While I couldn’t see them, I knew they were close. Even through my earplugs, I could hear the squeaking chatter of the dolphins very clearly. And, naturally, hoping to create some sort of dialog, I squeaked back. I was enthralled.
Perhaps I used the wrong dialect because they disappeared almost as quickly as they appeared. “That’s it??” I thought to myself. A wave of disappointment crashed over me. Not entirely convinced they would short-change me with such a brief visit, I listened intently as my face returned to the water after each breath. Dolphins are extremely intelligent animals so I thought maybe – just maybe - they can communicate with me telepathically. I filled my mind with thoughts of dolphins – EVERYTHING dolphin – dolphins swimming, dolphins frolicking, and dolphins jumping through the waves. Surely they would get my not-so-subtle message.
But the dolphins were gone. Though left alone in the water, thanks to my ocean friends I was now completely relaxed and enjoying my swim. I felt so blessed to have been graced with their attention. And I was sure the dolphins would look after me for the duration of my swim.
I focused on my swim strategy. Earlier I had instructed my crew not to give me any indication of the time. While I can count the number of feedings and estimate the time, I didn’t want to know the official time. I didn’t want to worry about how many hours I had been swimming. And besides, I really didn’t need to know the time; my mantra going into the swim was “swim until you run out of water.” I didn’t need to be anywhere else except right here.
Breaking my swim into manageable chunks, I envisioned the first 3 hours as my “warm up.” With feedings every 30 minutes there would be 6 feedings during this period. And, right on cue, every 30 minutes, I spotted a green glow stick plunge into the dark nothingness ahead of me. On a long rope, attached to this glow stick, was a drink bottle containing my carbohydrate concoction. I swam towards its extraterrestrial-green glow, and as I held the bottle my fingertips glowed freakishly green. Guzzling the drink as quickly as possible and always remembering my manners, I said a quick “thank you” and continued swimming.
Relaxed as I swam, I reflected on my recent dolphin encounter. The fact that they some how knew I was not a threat, boggled my mind.
Just as I finished my 6th feeding, another familiar chorus of squeaking dolphins ceremoniously kicked off the next chunk of my swim. “DOLPHINS!!!!” I yelled as I took a breath.