Back in the 1980’s  I was a deckhand on the Thomas Crosby V. The last of a long line of  United Church ships that ran on the North Coast of British Columbia Canada visiting just about every village, lighthouse, logging camp and hermit that was there. In about three weeks we would usually drop anchor in @ 50 locations. The minister, the nurse, often the engineer and even sometimes the deckhands would go ashore and visit or lend a hand in whatever way the situation called for.

One day while the minister and nurse were ashore and we were riding the anchor I spotted a pod of dolphins that were heading up channel. Often as we chugged along if we were heading the same way they would catch a ride on our bow wave. I wondered how they would react to me in a 12 foot Zodiac.

Our tender was already in the water so I quickly got in, untied her and headed into the middle of the channel to wait for them. To my delight they did not ignore me.

First they circled and then they charged! From both sides some of them would hurtle themselves at me and as they passed they would lift their tail, aim carefully, and splash me. I took this for a minute or so and then put the engine in gear and chased them. I would almost catch them and then a splash and a swerve and I was once again clearing salt water out of my eyes as they laughed and swam around the Zodiac.  

When I stopped chasing them they again circled and splashed me until I put the engine back in gear and gave chase. I suppose we played this game for about twenty minutes and then they whirled around me, dove and off they went. Dolphins are not just animals. They are intelligent, creative, full of fun beings.

Regrettably, to their horror and our shame some groups of Dolphins are nearing extinction simply because humans have destroyed much of their habitat.  The Maui’s Dolphins  have about 50 members left. Unless humans get very intentional about saving them, and they get very lucky, in the near future they will simply cease to be a part of this world.

Barbara Maas has a Facebook page that goes into some detail  about the problem and the solutions. There are other pages and other groups as well. Please take a look and if you are convinced that this is a worthy cause then please find a way to add your voice to the battle before the Maui’s are gone … forever.

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