posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:19 PM
Being raised on the Gulf Coast I had grown accustomed to awaking before dawn and taking my ritualistic walk on the beach close to my home. There is
just something about breathing the fresh air while walking on the sandy beach, and as the sand squished up between my toes, I heard what sounded like
a distant rumble. Thinking it was merely the rumble of an April storm brewing in the distance, I put it out of my mind and continued my walk.
Suddenly I recalled that today is the day I take my weekly dive with my best friends Alex and Jo (short for Josephine), just off the coast. It is
during the first of what would become weekly dives that I had my first encounter of swimming with wild dolphins. What an absolute thrill it was when
these sleek, playful creatures first came up to me while I was struggling against a slight current. They seemed to be as inquisitive of us as we were
of them. Well, over time it seems the dolphins would go out of their way to be at our dive spot each week and this morning's dive would be no
The dive began normally, at least it seemed. After we were in the water for a time, the dolphins began acting very peculiar, like they were becoming
frightened. Once our dive was complete and we were on our way back to shore, we could see what appeared to be big, dark clouds on the horizon.
Within minutes, there were several helicopters flying out to sea from land, which it was normal to see a couple here and there, but we counted at
least 7 and they seemed to be heading in the same direction.
When we returned to shore we learned of the oil rig explosion and sinking and that there was an oil leak in the Gulf. This is not the first time this
has happened, so we thought all the added fuss would soon pass within a few days and life would return to normal. Little did we understand the
enormity of it all.
Within days, the bad news kept getting worse and due to the spreading of the oil we could not continue our weekly dives, which was the highlight of
our week for the past few years. We had discussed the fate of our diving buddies, the dolphins, but we assumed they would be ok. I mean after all,
there is a lot of water in the Gulf of Mexico, and dolphins are smart.
With matters continuing to get worse and the oil soaking our beaches to the point that I could no longer take my morning walks, my mind kept thinking
about our aquatic friends. One day, we decided to go against the grain and at least take our boat out to our diving spot and see if we could see our
friends. When we arrived to our normal diving location, we could not believe our eyes. The beautiful blue water that we had dived into so many
times, was completely reddish brown and gooey. Our thoughts immediately went to our dolphin friends and wondering if they were safe. It had only
been days before that we heard a report about dolphins being killed by this oil and we all hoped beyond hope that our friends were safe, but by the
look on the water, hope may not hold out for long.
It was getting late and we decided to return home. While en route as we made our way through miles of oil that would be briefly broken up by clear
water, Jo yelled out and about made me jump off the side of the boat. I asked her what is wrong Jo? She said to look off the starboard side, which I
did. What I saw took my breath away. I saw 3 dolphins swimming beside our boat and immediately we knew they were our friends. Alex stopped the boat
and off to the side of the boat I saw 3 of the prettiest smiles I had ever seen coming up out of the water. Our friends were safe, at least for now.
2 of them had some oil on their backs which we gladly wiped off. I wish we could have stayed with them, but it was time to leave for home. They
followed us for a ways before swimming back to sea. Although I have not been back to our spot for a few weeks now, I can't help but wonder if they
are still safe from the man made atrocity, but somehow I think they are just fine.