Another Island Note
I usually like to post Island Notes with photos, but this time I cannot. My buddy, Tom, was visiting from the States and with 20-23 knot winds; my hands were full with mainsheet and tiller. Thus, there was no camera aboard my sailboat, Kontentu.
We had a wonderful sail to Te Amo Beach, a beam reach along Punt Vierkant, and then a spirited tack back to Kralendijk. It was when we were blowing home along the city front that it happened. I looked out to sea and saw a dive boat with all of its passengers on the bow. Dolphins were swimming in front, delighting the group. I thought of turning Kontentu around and following the pod but felt like that might steal the show from the divers. But soon after, the dive boat sped away. I asked Tom if he wanted to try to find the dolphins. Stupid question.
We came about and headed to the open spot in the sea where we last saw the pod. Nothing. Then I looked to shore and saw a sight I had never witnessed. There were at least twenty spinner dolphins swimming side-by-side in a row, leaping through the air and heading directly toward our boat. It was as if the dinner bell had rung and the pod sped toward Klein Bonaire in a 50-yard swath. Fortunately, we were right in the middle of their path.
I was hoping that the group would change course and follow us for a bit, but the dolphins were on a mission. They leap past Kontentu fore and aft. Then, we watched the pod springing away from us still on course to Klein Bonaire. Tom and I had our National Geographic moment.
The whole event took perhaps only a minute but it is one etched in my memory, one I’ll take to the grave. Tom, who left the next day for New Mexico, had the best souvenir ever to take home. I’m sure he had dolphins leaping through his dreams. I know I did.
Earlier that day, I had invited two other friends aboard for the sail, Skipper John and Patrick with his two sons. Alas, both had shore side duties that denied them this grand sight. That just reinforces the ages-old adage penned in Latin by the eloquent Roman poet Horace—Carpe Diem, seize the day.