For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the ocean, especially the connection with the whales and dolphins. In the research that I have done, I learned that the dolphins are incredibly evolved social beings who are loving, gracious, playful and intelligent. They evoke joy and feelings of bliss in those that are in contact with them. There have been many studies on the interaction between the dolphins and human connections. Many cases have been reported from people who have experienced radical healing and profound shifts in their lives after being in their presence. Through their sonar, they receive bio-magnetic readouts of the health and well being of the life around them.
Let me begin with my first encounter:
A number of years ago, I attended a one week retreat in Maui where we went through powerful emotional shifts and transformations. Part of the retreat included a boat trip where we could snorkel and possibly see the dolphins. Unfortunately, the dolphins did not come into the bay so a few of us decided to rent kayaks after the retreat to try once again to see if we could connect with them.
We went to a very quiet lava rock beach to meet with the group, only to find the water was too rough and they would not let us take out the kayaks. Two other women who were at the retreat and I decided to stay as it was such a beautiful day. After walking some distance over the lava rock, we found a small deserted and secluded piece of sandy beach. We were still feeling ‘high’ from the energy of the retreat. While sitting on the sand and gazing out at the ocean, we began to sing one of the songs we had learned at the retreat that celebrated the beauty of the islands and the spirit of ‘Aloha’. To our great delight we saw a pod of dolphin’s right out in front of us. Without thinking of our safety, and in spite of the fact we did not have any snorkel equipment, the three of us timed the waves and swam to where they were as they came toward us. In no time, we found ourselves in the center of their pod and they seemed just as excited to see us. There we were, surrounded by dolphins.
I was wearing contact lenses at the time so couldn’t open my eyes underwater to see them. I decided to sacrifice one of my lenses and opened my left eye while under the water – and of course lost my lens. I felt an incredible sense of joy and excitement wash over me as several of the dolphins swam within a couple of feet of my presence. And there we were eye to eye. They were making the most amazing sounds under water that sounded very much like a high pitched squeaking. It seemed like time did not exist and we did not experience any sense of being cold in the water. Nor did we feel tired even after swimming with them for a couple of hours. They would spiral around us, interact for quite a while, and then swim away. The three of us would then huddle together in the water, share our joy, excitement and personal experiences and once again sang our beautiful Hawaiian song of love. It seemed that our joyous energies beckoned the dolphins to return, as if to say we love your song and your energy and joined us with their own songs. It was amazing! I felt so ecstatic, my heart burst with love and joy and I felt like I had come home to my family in the sea. As I would feel these waves of excitement, one or two of the dolphins would spiral around me and begin spinning and leaping out of the water. (these are the Spinner Dolphins common in Hawaii) They would again swim real close to us, chattering, like they were saying “isn’t it great to be in joy and in the bliss of the moment”. They then headed out to sea, encouraging us to head back to shore – and they were gone. It wasn’t until then that we realized the water was actually a little rough and the waves were fairly high. We took our time, stayed together and slowly swam back to the beach. We sat on the warm sand and shared how blessed we felt and were in awe of what we just experienced. The day was totally amazing. The sun was shining and the sand was a bright white in contrast with the black lava rocks and the beautiful aqua green colour of the ocean. There was no one else for miles around. As if the day could not be more complete, whilst we lay soaking up the warm rays of the sun, we heard a deep voice say “Hello Ladies”. It was ‘Dolphin Dave’, an entertainer that we met at the retreat. He is known as Dolphin Dave because of his many close connections with the dolphins and the whales. He arrived with several pieces of bamboo and he showed us how to make our own didgeridoos. This is an instrument often connected to the Aborigines from Australia, that one blows into and with ‘circular breathing’ create amazing sounds. The dolphins are conscious breathers and are – as the whales – very attracted to the sounds of the didgeridoos.
It was one of the most profound days I have ever experienced in my life. As the months went by, I found myself often going back to those moments in my thoughts. The more I reconnected with that joy, the more I wanted to share this experience with others. I decided I wanted to facilitate retreats in Hawaii so that others could experience this feeling of ecstasy as well. I spoke with many people from the islands and researched the many things required to make it a memorable experience. I discovered an awesome retreat house to rent located at one of the bays the dolphins frequent.
Immediately I contacted Dolphin Dave and arranged to have him join our retreats so that we would all experience his amazing humour, love and wisdom. He also teaches us to make our own didgeridoos and entertains us with his musical talents and joyful playful antics. In fact, when we go out on our boat trip, he plays his drums and didgeridoos as the sounds call in the whales and the dolphins. It is quite an amazing scene as our boat leaves the dock. You can see those on shore observing us in envy as we are all dancing and grooving to the rhythm of the drums and the deep melodious notes of the didgeridoo. In no time we are surrounded by pods of dolphins.
I have since met many local entertainers and hire ‘swimming angels’ to assist in the swims. We especially pay attention to be sure to educate those that join us how to behave and not behave in the water and to respect and honour the dolphins. How to recognize when a pod has come into the bay to rest so that we do not disturb them. (there is more information about this in ‘Dolphin respect and etiquette’
I also hire an amazing caterer – Mona – who knows how to blend the most incredible organic foods and creates orgasmic mouth watering sensations that nurture our bodies and satisfy the hunger pangs of anyone’s appetite. And, there are many others that have become part of the retreat experience. I just kept imagining what I would want to experience and created that for those that join our Dolphin retreat.
Oh yes, I also want to share that when I returned home I discovered that I no longer needed to use two contact lenses. My vision without glasses or contacts is perfect for reading or details close up. I need glasses or contacts to see distance, but I found that when I did wear my contacts, I could not read menus or look up telephone numbers, or read my books. What I now discovered was that wearing only one contact lens, I could see into the distance and also see close up; a beautiful gift from the dolphins.
There are many other stories I will share with you, my close swim with a Humpback whale and her baby, an incredible night dive I experienced with the Mantra Rays, and stories from friends and retreat participants. These are now being included in my book ‘Dolphins, Whales and Magical Tails’.
Mahalo - and Blessings of love and joy to you,