02 August 2009

Delphi's Dolphins 12, 26 July - 1 August

A memorable and wonderful week.
Day 1: Rough sea, just trying to stay aboard and exercising back muscles. All very impressed by Silvia’s skills at driving the inflatable. Hot sweaty night.
Day 2: Calmer sea, but still bumpy. Caught sight of something like a dorsal fin, adrenalin rush, and yes it was a dolphin! but no! A plastic one. We tried to reanimate it, but there was nothing to do anymore. Continued the search for real ones. Unfortunately no more dolphins that day, either plastic or alive. Consoled ourself with sweet pastries and cookies from the Itea bakery.
Day 3: Hopeful for our lucky day, and now Nadine had arrived to complete the team. The sea was pretty calm (state 1) in the bay but then varied from state 1 to 6. Sightings: dead juvenile sea turtle (or part of it), and two brown reddish jellyfish. No dolphins though, but we ended our morning with a fresh dip in the sea during which Silvia showed us a beautiful red starfish. That night a dressed-up dinner at a delightful family restaurant.
Day 4: Bad weather, still no dolphins.
It was time to take control of events… FORGET ABOUT SCIENCE AND START PRAYING. The intrepid team devised a multi-pronged attack. Greek Orthodox Church (light candelizzas). Consult the Delphi Oracle (with an offering of a dead tuna jawbone discovered on a beach). Psycho-social group therapy session (Dolphin Celebration Ritual: purchase of stone dolphin totem, further use of totem as ‘talking stick’). New Age: dolphin totem ritual at breakfast (candlelight & totem-at-table). Yoga: practice of newly created ‘dolphin salutation’ by all, including those who don’t do yoga). Superstition: Aina’s pants inside out (and who knows what else was done privately?). GUESS WHAT, IT WORKED!
Last Day: Thanks to Aina’s sharp eyes, we discovered a school of 26 striped dolphins by 9.45am: mothers with newborns, juveniles, complete with leaps & bounds, Curley (an old favorite but this time swimming with a calf) and a new favorite with asthma, who gave little rasping breaths on surfacing.
We want to thank the wonderful team of Silvia, Aina and Giovanni for: their incredible competence, patience, intelligence, stimulating and interesting lectures, charm, humour, waking us up, consideration, boat driving skills, memorable discussions, depressing films, great organization, hard work, focused passion and inspiration.
There is a saying: quando una pianta cade fa rumore, una foresta che cresce non fa rumore ma è molto più forte (a falling tree makes a big noise, but a forest that grows in silence has more power). We are positive that your effort will have the same result. Thank you!

I-ndangered (endangered)

Roberta & Christian, Italy
Felicity, UK/USA
Petra, The Netherlands

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