Eyes closed, he breathes in the sea, lets its soft touch brush up against his soul. He’s been doing this for ten years now. No, wait. Fifteen. He sighs and shakes his head, flinging a spray of salt water off his long sun-bleached hair.
Where does the time go?
Before he can give it much thought, a splashing sound catches his ear, and he shifts on the board. A dolphin peeks up from his left side, the little guy’s (or gal’s?) face bringing him a smile that comes from his heart. But even as he marvels at his good fortune, a second, followed almost immediately by a third, surfaces, each making their comical, yet wondrous clicking, as if to wish him a good day.
He looks to the shoreline, hoping to share this magical moment, though he knows few will be on the beach at this hour. He’s quite surprised when he sees several people standing at the water’s edge, most waving their arms. He broadens his smile and waves back – they’ve obviously seen his new friends – yet this only seems to make their swinging efforts all the more frantic.
Another splash pulls his focus back, and he turns to see there are now six, maybe seven dolphins, and they’re circling his surfboard in a sort of aquatic parade. It’s then he realizes his surfer buds are gray bottlenose dolphins, rare for this area, rather than the black and white commons.
“Are you guys lost?” he calls out.
But as he does, he feels a bump from behind, and he spins around to see two of the dolphins at the rear of his board giving him a push.
“What the—“ he starts to say. However before he can finish, or even react, two more join from the side, adding their noses to the board, which is now skimming the water’s surface and heading – very quickly – toward the shore.
Rather than fight his fate, he sits back and enjoys the ride, the dolphins not letting up until his toes touch the sand below. Slipping off, he turns to say thanks, but his newfound friends have already vanished into the surf.
As he stands there smiling, though quite perplexed, a young woman comes racing up.
“Wow!” she practically screams.
“Awesome IS right...those dolphins just saved your life.”
“Didn’t you see the Great White Sharks? There were two right by your board...”