The twice delayed festival for the kids was finally today.
The Dolphin Festival is a once a year event which begins with a beach clean up. Technically, Mikura does not have a beach with sand. But the boat launch ramp is considered Mikura's 'hama' or beach. We spent an hour cleaning up the breakwater area and the port area of debris and trash. Then, we shared lunch of soup and onegiri (rice balls).
The afternoon had three boats taking children and Mikura folks to watch and swim with dolphins. The policeman, a friend named Mildred, and 5 young girls (junior and elementary school aged) were on my boat with Shigeaki-san as our captain. We saw four dolphin groups. This biggest was also in an area that had the most choppy seas. We saw three calves and their moms in this group – one from this year, a 1 yr old, and a 2 yr old. And, the young dolphins spyhopped at our boat! Like they were looking at the young humans. It was pretty cool.
We all had a good day and some of these kids swam with dolphins their first time, some their second. I shared the 11:35 minutes of video that I took today with some of the girls after our trip (and after the gear had been rinsed and taken care of).
A good day!