Mega Pod!
By Jeffrey Jacobs (05/27/10 12:33:26)
Related animal: Dolphin

On Tuesday we went as a class on a whale-watching boat called the Condor Express to try and find a mega-pod of dolphins in the channel. Before going out we had been told that dolphins will swim in groups of thousands together in the ocean and that if we were lucky we might get to see one of these groups and ride alongside them in our boat. Well, that is exactly what we found. After driving far out into the channel for about 45 minutes the captain announced that there was a mega pod coming up on the horizon. To the naked eye it looked like an area of turbulent water with white caps as we approached . Then, suddenly we were completely surrounded by the dolphins. The captain estimated that there were two thousand of them in the group and they were jumping out of the water as they swam as far as the eye could see. We had a list of instructions for sounds and movements that we were supposed to make as a group as the boat made different movements around the dolphins. The excitement of our group was so high that it was difficult for the actions to pan out exactly as planned but we were able to get synchronized a few times. I tried to take some pictures of the dolphins in action, but the photos did not do the situation justice at all. The dolphins swim so fast that it is hard to capture them for the spit second that they are out of the water. I also recorded a few videos but they too did not do the situation justice. Really it is something that has to be experienced first hand and after a few minutes of trying to capture it, I realized that I just needed to experience the moment with my own undistracted eyes. The meditation task was one of my favorites. The boat sped up ahead of the dolphins and stopped and we sat and meditated as the dolphins caught up to us and passed us by. It was an incredibly serene moment, without the noise of the moving boat and only the ocean and wind to be heard. Another thing that worked out much better than I thought it would was using the hydrophone to play the dolphins’ underwater noises over the boats sound system. I though that we would not be able to hear the dolphins over the sound of the boat but sure enough we could here them perfectly. All in all the trip was amazing and an experience that I am so glad I got to participate in. Only a few weeks ago I had no idea that this kind of mega-pod of dolphins even existed and now I got to witness it with my own eyes.

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