Squealing girls, screaming men and the mother of all waves Mostly successful boat trip with the biggest wave ever!  boots from mikura IMAGE: Hang up your boots – the sun is back!

Another boat trip this morning! My streak of trips continues… 10 days and counting.

It was raining again this morning (big surprise), but the sun actually came out in the afternoon much to my delight! I had actually forgotten what it looked like, and I had to have one of the local kids explain to me what the funny orange ball in the sky was. OK, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it has been rainy and cloudy for over a week.

Anyhow, we had a boat trip this morning. Let me set the scene: Masaki-chan (who, if Disney World is the happiest place on earth, she is the happiest person on earth) had 3 of her friends over from Tokyo who went on the dolphin watching trip with us. They were also 3 of the happiest people on earth – they were excited by everything, and when they got excited, they started squealing. They squealed when they saw dolphins, squealed when they saw turtles, squealed when they saw seaweed and I think even squealed when they saw plankton. So it was me, Masaki-chan, the squealers and 2 tough diving guys on Michio-san’s boat. From my apartment window the sea looked innocuous enough, but it was anything but innocuous by the time our little boat rounded Motone. Motone is a big rock outcropping at the southern tip of the island where all the worst weather in the world can be found. If something terrible is happening (celestially speaking), it is happening at Motone.

As we were rounding Motone, the waves suddenly became ENORMOUS! Our little boat was carried far into the sky by the crest of these waves and dropped down abruptly into the water. It came to pass that we found ourselves atop a wave so large, that time seemed to stand still. As we were perched on the crest of this Mother of All Waves, there was an eerie silence. But as we began to plummet, the squealers let out a series of terrified squeals, and, to my utter surprise, the burly diving boys SCREAMED at the top of their lungs. I of course, being the veteran dolphin watching salty sea guy (HAHAHA), remained quiet, contemplating our fate silently - much like the Buddha reflecting on the purpose of existence. We crashed back into the water with no major damage to anyone or anything. Luckily, the MVA was intact, and the passengers seemed to actually be enjoying themselves. It was much like a roller coaster, with the added thrill of certain death if you happen to fall overboard! To be honest, I enjoyed the experience a little.

Aside from giant waves, we managed to get in the water a few times and I got some good video shots. #314 (Oonamikonami)and her juvenile swam up for a close inspection.

Tomorrow I was going to head out in the morning with Gen-san, but he cancelled our dolphin watching trip because he is going to go searching for a whale shark that was spotted close to shore. I would like to go with him – I’ve never seen a whale shark in person, but I am here for dolphins, not sharks. Instead, I will be going out in the morning with Kato-san. If my luck continues, we just might bump into the whale shark anyway during our dolphin watching trip. Wish me luck!


-Justin

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