The Cetacea Once-Over

Last night Toaster and I went surfing in my usual spot. In a rare act from King Neptune we were the only ones out there, despite the tasty waves that were coming fast and frequent. About half way through our session we spotted a dolphin bobbing up the cost. At the time Toaster was out waiting in the waves and I was padding back out. Seeing dolphins while out surfing is not uncommon, but this particular dude came in real close to Toaster, say within 10 to 15 feet. What was really interested was the the dolphin seemed to “pause” in front of Toaster.

By the time I got all the way out I asked Toaster, “Did that dolphin just check you out?” He replied, “Seemed like it, didn’t it?”

We continued on our merry way surfing in and paddling back out. Later in the night, I was padding back out again and Toaster was surfing in and passed right by me and I thought I heard him say, “There coming for you!” I dismissed this; surely I misheard what he had said. It was similar to when a car drives by you and someone from in the car shouts something at you, but their Doppler affected words only come to you in the form of “Blaaaawaaanaaah!”

I finished paddling out and set myself up. Then Toaster shouts at me again as he starts to paddle back out, “They are coming right at you!” I look back at him and ask, “What the heck are you even talking about!?” He points off down the beach. I turn my head and sure enough, there is a pod of dolphins coming right at me. Not near me, right at me. There were no fewer than four and easily as many as seven or eight. It was hard to tell and they wouldn’t all surface at once so I could count them.

These dolphins came so close to me that they had to split their group so some went inside of me and some outside. And then it happened, just like Toaster. One of the dolphins surfaced about five feet from me, paused and then gave me a cursory once-over. And this wasn’t just my imagination. The dolphin was close enough that I could see its eye moving around checking me out. So there we were, me and the dolphin just bobbing out in the ocean.

Several moments passed by. Then, and this was the strangest thing, I felt an “awkward pause” in our conversation. So, I introduced myself. We exchanged pleasantries. Toaster was still padding towards me, but almost to my position.

The dolphin went back under water and started moving on with its buddies. Toaster had seen most of what happened and shouted, “They are checking us out!” Then, as if to mock our floppy ocean-going ability, another dolphin popped up in the swell coming toward us and rode the wave right passed Toaster, again with only feet between them.

It was surreal.

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