Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Swims With Dolphins

"Motor vessel near buoy XX, I think you've just had a dog jump off the back of your boat." I was piloting and I'd just said to Jeff, "I see Dylan but not Dee Dee. You need to go look."

We were in our third day of dolphin heaven with the crew on high alert. Jeff had taken a video of the crew minutes before watching the dolphins with Dee Dee emitting a high pitched cry much like our first canine crew member Tucker used to do.

Jeff ran to the back and saw a small yellow head about 1/4 to 1/2 mile back. I quickly pulled the boat out of gear. The next 20 minutes are a bit of a blur.

The motor vessel behind us, MV Intermission, was trying to get her onto their boat but she wouldn't come to them. They stayed with her giving us directions while we spun the boat around, prepared the dinghy to launch if needed, got out a boat hook, put on our headsets to communicate, secured Dylan, and possibly a few other things - I can't say what order.

MV Intermission stayed on site radioing instructions where she was. As soon as Jeff called her name she turned and started swimming towards the boat. Jeff was able to grab the loop on her harness with the boat hook but found the side door was too high off the water and too narrow to bring her in. One of several lessons learned. So he brought her around to the swim platform and was eventually able to get her back onboard.

At that point I wasn't sure whether to hug her or kill her. A few cries and she settled down. Then she heard the dolphins and was ready to go back out again!

For now there is a moratorium on dolphin watching while we calm down, process what happened, and decide how to prevent it from happening in the future. Dylan thinks it's very unfair that he has to suffer because of Dee Dee's transgression but I'm the mom and I make the rules.

As for the crew of MV Intermission, they have lifetime access to Dark n Stormies on aCappella.

I've said from the start that Dee Dee was destined to be our first dog who goes over.  Damn if I wasn't right!


Mike Boyd said...

Going for a swim with a dolphin is one of the things I fear when we bring our dogs on board. I can almost see that Wile E Coyote moment when my pup is hovering over the water and suddenly realizes it was a bad idea. I'm thinking of putting up some of that lifeline netting to help dissuade them.


MV Red Head said...


I hope she had that Wile E. Coyote moment and that it stuck! But hope I never have another chance to find out...