Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Pink Dolphin!

     Wandering Dolphin is back in Trinidad for her yearly spa treatment.  Jimmy and I sailed her from St Thomas to Trinidad.  We had a really beautiful passage and I enjoyed the feel of our boat heeling over to the wind.

     After only four days we sailed into the “Dragon’s Mouth,” the narrow current filled cut into the bay where all of the boatyards are.  Jimmy had been a little bummed out because he had been hoping to see some dolphins this summer and the failed to appear but we were truly blessed as we came into the cut when a little family of bottlenose dolphins swam up and started playing around the bow of the boat.  They would swim on their sides looking up at us with those wet intelligent eyes and the constant smile on their faces.  Then suddenly I looked over to port and saw a HUGE white shape swimming toward the boat, it was at least 1/3 larger than the others and as it surfaced it took my breath away!  It was what we thought was an albino PINK dolphin!  She had two little calves with her one of them no larger than an American football!  We thought she was pink in all of the areas of her body that received a lot of blood supply and pure white in the other areas.  Surprisingly her dorsal fin was a beautiful pail pink.  She swam around the boat a couple of times, Jimmy ran to get his 
camera because I was at the helm steering the boat through the narrow cut.

When we arrived in Trinidad I looked up these creatures and found out that this was an endangered Pink Dolphin which is a freshwater dolphin found in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in South America.  Trinidad is just north of the Orinoco so I can only guess that she must have been lost and hooked up with some bottle nose dolphins!

     I have been a lot of places.  I have hiked mountain ranges, including the Himalayas. I have backpacked almost all of the Grand Canyon. I have kayaked swollen spring rivers and ocean places in the Pacific Northwest where the mountains meet the sea. I have ridden a bicycle from Wyoming to Alaska.  I have sailed thousands of miles offshore in the Atlantic and Caribbean.  I have seen a LOT of beautiful things and that pink dolphin ranks right up there at the top five things I have ever personally seen!

      I am only a little more superstitious than any other offshore sailor, I didn’t change our boat name, I don’t leave port on a Friday, and Bananas have no place on my boat for a passage, and I always wear my lucky found hat on passages.  I couldn’t help feeling like God sent this pretty pink Dolphin to welcome WANDERING DOLPHIN back to Trinidad for the final session in her refit before we set sail on a Long offshore sail to “somewhere.”

Captain Tofer

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