Here there be Dragons

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I was reflecting tonight about emergent phenomena, and how one thing about emergent phenomena is their unpredictability. I’m in the process of writing up a post on emergent phenomena in climate, so they’ve been on my mind. I got to thinking about something I saw thirty-five years ago, a vision that is as fresh today as the day I saw it. I’m going to write it up and post it, be aware that there isn’t much sciencey stuff at all in this post. So get a cup of your favorite hot beverage, there’s nothing contentious here, it’s just a seaman’s tale about the unfathomable nature of emergent phenomena …

One charmed afternoon, as the result of a series of misunderstandings and coincidences, I found myself on a small sailboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a thousand miles and more from any land. The day was lovely, blue water, blue sky. A light breeze was blowing, just enough to keep the sails full and drawing. I was on the afternoon watch, so I was … well … watching, that’s what sailors on watch do. Watching the course, watching the sails, watching the taffrail log, watching the black bumps on the horizon, watching the compass, watching the clouds, watching the … wait, what? Black bumps on the horizon? What makes black bumps on the horizon?

sea serpentI watched and watched, and although the bumps got bigger, I couldn’t make out what it was. Clearly it was alive, I could see it splashing and moving in the far distance. Strangely, as more of the mystery creature became visible coming over the horizon, it started to look like the mythical sea serpent.

Or maybe it was two sea serpents, long ones, with parts of their bodies underwater and parts above water, I watched it for the longest time … and then suddenly, you know how the picture shifts, it all became clear. I was looking at a huge pod of dolphins swimming in a long thin line, that’s why it had looked like a couple of sea serpents. But the pod was gigantic, it was already well over a mile long, and heading towards the boat.

Nothing happens fast at sea. And so slowly, slowly the members of the pod moved in line towards us, with more and more of them appearing over the horizon as the first among them neared the sailboat. And amazingly, when the first dolphins drew even with the boat, dolphins in the back of the line were still coming over the horizon.

Now, for those of us stalwart citizens of America and Liberia fighting the lonely rearguard action of the good fight against the insidious foreign menace of metric measurements that would drain our precious bodily fluids, the rule of thumb in Imperial measurements is that distance to the horizon (in miles) is the square root of your eye height above sea level (in feet), rounded up. (The corresponding rule of thumb in metric is, three times the square root of eye height in metres (rounded up) gives distance in km to the horizon. But you can only have our feet and inches if you pry them from our cold hands …)

The deck of the boat was about four feet above the waterline. That put my eyes about ten feet (3m) above the waterline, meaning it was about four miles (six km) to the horizon, and the dolphins continued to stream over the horizon unabated.

The line of the dolphins passed maybe a quarter-mile from us, pretty close but still hard to make out. I was hoping that I would get a closer view of them, when I saw two dolphins leave the pod and come rocketing over at an incredible speed to check us out. They were large, obviously males. They went all around the sailboat for a few minute, eyeing us, checking out the boat, and then they rocketed back to the main pod … I was sorry to see them go.

But after they got back, they must have given us a good report … because in a little while some of the females came over with their young, including infants. I lay on my stomach on the bowsprit, the spar that sticks out forwards from the front of some sailboats, so I could look directly down on them from a few feet above them. The tiniest ones were unbearably cute. They were perfect miniatures of their moms, identical in every detail. The moms and babies came and swam under the bow of the boat. The babies swim right under the moms, for protection. Then when the moms come up for air, the baby pops out from under and swims alongside of the mom to the surface, in a gorgeous symphonic ballet of synchrony. They both take a breath at the same instant, I could hear the big breath and the baby breath like the palest petal of air, then the baby pops back under the mom, and off they go again.

Amazingly, I saw the moms trade off the childcare duties. I watched one mom and a kid for a bit. They were doing the pair breathing, they went on for a while.

And then, another mom came up to the bow and said something to the first mom. The kid ducked from under the first mom to the other, and the first mom celebrated her new-found freedom and lack of responsibility by indulging in a whole long series of jumps and dives and turns, it looked like she just got off an eight-hour shift … she was one happy lady, she never did come back to the sailboat, she was done with childcare for a bit, she went tailwalking across to join the ladies in the main dolphin parade.

And all the while the unending stream of dolphins was passing by. Different groups of them came to play around the boat, and then retired to join the pod. The leaders of the group were halfway to the opposite horizon, and still dolphins came to play … and when the leaders of the pod had made it all the way to the horizon, and had finally disappeared from view, there were still more dolphins coming over the horizon, still more dolphins coming to visit us, while still more dolphins disappeared over the horizon more came into view. Eight full miles and more of dolphins making their slow way to … where?

And then with an almost tragic finality, the tail of the huge long pod came into view, wending its deliberate way forwards. Those last dolphins still had three miles to go just to get to the boat. As they approached, a few last visitors came and gazed at us through the two-way mirror of the ocean’s surface, and then left to join their friends. I sadly watched them join up with the tail of the pod and then slowly, slowly, the tail of the pod shrank towards the horizon.

And finally, in the long slanting rays of the late afternoon, the last of the gorgeous, mysterious dolphins slipped over the far edge and were lost to sight … I sat in silence, almost dazed by the experience. After watching them laugh and play for those few mercurial hours, I felt like I do when friends depart after too short a visit. And I wondered how the world appeared from their side of the silvery mirror of the surface.

What did we look like to them? What did they think of us? Clearly, they were intelligent. They sent out scouts to gauge our intentions before they allowed the women and kids to visit, just like any wandering tribe in an unknown country. They moved in a conscious, purposeful manner, with the women and kids in the middle of the pod, and bigger males ranging widely back and forth along both sides, clearly watching out for the tribe as they steadily moved towards … somewhere.

But where were they headed, and why? I realized that the afternoon had vanished, how had it suddenly become evening? My watch was over, I put my head back on the cockpit cushions and watched the stars come out and drifted in a half-sleep, considering the question of their mystery hegira. After picking up and discarding a variety of hypotheses, the picture started to become clearer. As my head sank lower, I could almost see how the word had come skittering down the oceanic spinal telegraph, an eclectrical spark that went quantum tunneling through the aquatic mental telepaphone, wailing a long saxophone growl about there was gonna be some seriously shaking dolphin party down the way, the whole tribe was invited, there was gonna be fins and sins over at the corner of what almost sounded like Water Street and Ocean Avenue, but I couldn’t make out the words, they sounded strange and squeaky.

And yet I somehow, as the motion of the boat gently lifted and soothed me, I knew exactly where that party was going to be, and it was a warm and happy place, with lots of friends and plenty of fish-heads, I could almost taste the sweetness. And I could see how the boss dolphin ladies notified all of their aunties and cousins in that part of the ocean, and then they informed their husbands that they needed to clean up and get respectable, and they got the kids lined up, and they called in the distant relatives on the deep sound channels from where they were fishing in small groups around, and when they all were ready in their thousands and thousands, they all started to move, disordered at first. Then the first ones started their dolphin-dance, in and out of the water, and one by one they picked up the music and began line-dancing down the slanting wave-faces to the party somewhere over the horizon.

And then somehow my point of view shifted, and I could see it all from far above, and my boat was a tiny toy below me, and I could see a tiny man sleeping there, and weeping for the beauty, but he was a stranger, I was not interested in him, so I turned, and oh, I saw that the tribe that had laughed and frolicked past us were just one of a dozen dolphin tribes that I could see converging on some golden section of the ocean. And I could shift my eyes back and forth, and one moment see all the converging tribes of dolphins, still miles and miles apart but already singing and chattering to the unseen shadow-shapes of their alters in the blue-black deeps. And then shift my eyes and see them close up, the single dolphins ready to get down and boogie and become risqué, the moms eager to see their friends and tell lies about the orcas that they’d seen and boast of their grown children …

And I had the feeling that I could watch them forever, they had a purity of companionship that was infinitely inviting … but then somehow the time lurched and shifted like the needle picked up off an old vinyl record and set down in a new groove, and I could see all of them arriving together in the moonlight, laughing and frolicking, old friends from the different tribes telling their stories, young ladies and gentlemen dancing on their tails with the refulgent moonlight transmuting the splashing drops into tiny blazing-white stars like diamond-dust flung into blackness, the drops falling and skittering across the midnight velvet face of the moonlit ocean.

dolphin partyI wanted so much to join them in their dance that I began to weep, because I knew I was too clumsy and heavy to ever dance with the dolphins. But then you showed up, and you said I just had to unzip my bodysuit, and I could take it off and join the dance. And I was overjoyed, and amazed that I had never noticed the zipper before, but the surprise quickly faded and I unzipped it and stepped out of it just like I remembered doing so many times before, how could I have forgotten? And like always before it gave me a miraculous feeling of joy and lightness and energy. I knew I could dance all night with the dolphins, and I danced the first few steps and watched the colored energy roll through my body, the wings of my lungs beating like feathered clouds with my breathing, and the dolphins surrounded me and I could understand their singing, the dolphins shining and flashing and glowing to my new eyes, the dolphins dancing on all sides, walking on water, dancing on air … but before I was barely begun, a cold wind blew up without warning and spun me round and round, I didn’t have the energy to hang on and I felt myself spiraling down, I was gaining weight and losing speed, moving slower and slower, the fog was setting in to caress my face, I saw the tiny man passed out on the ship, he had stopped weeping, and without a trace or a shiver I was lost in a profound and dreamless sleep in that dark sea of awareness that surrounds and comforts us all.

.

As I said at the beginning, there’s not much sciencey stuff in this post, that will go in my upcoming post on emergence. Instead, consider this sailors tale a paean to the ungraspable, a celebration of things we don’t know, a rejoicing in not understanding the dolphins, a plea for an acknowledged lack of understanding, a shout-out to the unseen undersea power of family and friends and tribes, and a reminder that when it comes to the emergent phenomena that pop out of nothingness to surprise and amaze and bedevil us with things like lightning bolts and dolphin parties, the science is never settled …

My very best wishes to you all,

w.

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Cheryl

I love your stories. It’s almost like being there. Thanks!

Ken Finney

*Gobsmacked*

michaeljmcfadden

Beautifully written Willis! Thank you for sharing!!
– MJM

Glenn

Thanks…

yes well getting Imperial and SI units mixed up caused that satellite to crash. I use both, but then I am a Brit and we invented Imperial measurements and some SI units are named after Brits, and find both easy. SI for science and Im—–, well you know what I mean.
When at sea use NAUTICAL miles and Knots. so please use the correct units Willis, and nautical miles make navigation easier.

Ljh

Thank you Willis! I wish you would gather all your anecdotes into a Collected Tales. I am sure I’m not the only one.

David Y

Brilliance…again.

Sorry, Willis, you lost me with “mom and kid”. I cannot deal with people who don’t know the difference between people and animals. You were certainly honest on “no science”, you just failed to mention the Walt Disney fantasy angle. I’m sure Walt appreciates your contribution to making animals human, however.

Thanks, Willis. It afforded a wonderful chance to escape the toils of the day.
Regards

G P Hanner

Describing what few get to see. Very good. I’ve been there.

Grant

What a wonderful world….

mogamboguru

Write a book, Willis. Please, write a book!

jeff 5778

Magical.

G. Karst

Having spent considerable amounts of my younger years cruise sailing, I agree that a sailor spends most of his time watching. The rest of the time is spent rubbing ones eyes, trying to discern some of the strange things observed, on the water or in the night sky. Light and sound plays plenty of tricks on the water, especially when compounded by fog, wind, rain, lightning (in all it’s glorious forms) animal life, and real dangers. They almost always resolve themselves into the mundane, however some do remain a mystery. GK

Stuart Elliot

For a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
Thanks for putting it into words as only you can.

viejecita

Dear Mr Willis Eschenbach
This is a beautiful story . I am going to print it and keep it for ever and ever, together with my copy of Treasure Island, with my Jack London books, and with my other favorites.
I only hope you will publish your tales, and the story of your life, in book form, with prints and photos. Even if you don’t like publishers, ( those vampires ), you could self publish them in Kindle version, through Amazon. There is a free kindle book that explains how to do just that.
Thank you very much !!!
Your old Spanish admirer
María

Luther Wu

Ah, yes- the bodysuit.
Good job.

JImbrock

Reminds me of one day on Puget Sound, when a herring ball passed under our boat. Then the sea birds began diving and chattering and splashing. Nice sunny day. Beautiful.

Beautiful story, Willis, thanks!
Yes, dolphins are frequent visitors for sailors, they seem to consider sailboats as new neighbors.

Michael Moon

I was on Number 9 at Elbel in South Bend, IN one afternoon when I saw what appeared to be a puddle of water moving across the fairway. Walking a little close to see what it was, I saw a mother skunk and six little ones, moving in very close quarters, each step a sine wave progressing from head to tail. Never seen anything like it again.
Another time, driving on M-140 in Michigan, I passed a farmer plowing with a huge tractor and 24 plows. A giant flock of seagulls was behind him, eating the earthworms he was turning up. The birds would fly close behind the tractor, land, eat for a while, and then fly back to behind the tractor. The effect was a continuous raucous screaming wheel of flying gulls, never saw anything like it again…

Gary

I could almost see how the word had come skittering down the oceanic spinal telegraph, an eclectrical spark that went quantum tunneling through the aquatic mental telepaphone, wailing a long saxophone growl about there was gonna be some seriously shaking dolphin party down the way, the whole tribe was invited, there was gonna be fins and sins over at the corner of what almost sounded like Water Street and Ocean Avenue, but I couldn’t make out the words, they sounded strange and squeaky.

I wonder if the dolphins are as romantically poetic and inventive of portmanteaus as you are, Willis. Going to add “eclectrical” and “telepaphone” to my vocabulary.

Coalsoffire

Reality Check.
Too bad you missed the whole point of the essay.

bacullen

Uh – no body suit but I have found working gill slits under my arms at the appropriate time. In fact I can still feel remnants of them now!
Thank you again Willis for sharing your beautiful observations.

Joe Public

Thanks for the great description of your experiences; and, such wonderful pictures to illustrate it.

Ken cole

Thank you Willist for another wonderful tale. As an ex merchant navy man your stories bring back lots of memories,
Nostalgia is great, although it is not what it used to be!

Coalsoffire says:
February 4, 2013 at 9:05 am
Reality Check.
Too bad you missed the whole point of the essay.
Uhu.

Unexpected emergent phenomena are precisely Black Swans, the topic of Nassim N. Taleb’s eponymous insights and cautions in Fooled by Randomness and, most recently, Antifragile, that compares, contrasts and synthesizes fragility and robustness to derive anti-fragility – things that benefit from random unexpected stresses.
His home page http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/ features the Procrustean epigram,
Ethics: “If you see fraud and don’t shout fraud, you are a fraud”

Coalsoffire says:
February 4, 2013 at 9:05 am
Reality Check. … Too bad you missed the whole point of the essay.
Regardless of units, Willis’ beautiful story reminds me how close the horizon is when you have no landmarks that stick up. I felt the same closeness when I long ago worked at a scientific station on the featureless Greenland Inland Ice. Or even closer as my eyes were only six feet above the surface.

Steve Keohane

Thanks Willis. Once in Cozumel, near the NE end, on the Cancun side, I saw a line of dolphins making their arcs 50-60 feet off shore. Having been snorkeling, I grabbed my gear and headed into the water. I was able to get to within about 10 feet of the dolphins, about 8-10 of them. As they swam by, I could watch them from both above and below the water. It was a delightful treat to be able to experience them in their world.

That was lovely!
My memory may be playing tricks, but I seem to recall that the rule of thumb for the distance of the horizon in miles is √(1.5 x eye-height in feet). I remember because 6ft of altitude results in 3 miles of horizon. We did the relevant spherical trigonometry in a class at school and – as rules of thumb go – it is remarkably accurate. So much so that it won’t work for nautical miles. If I’m right, your line of dolphins was even longer than you said.
Not all of us in the UK have surrendered imperial measurements. They try to tell us that thinking in metric is a sign of being educated. Therefore being educated signifies an inability to handle multiples more complicated than 10.

“One charmed afternoon, as the result of a series of misunderstandings and coincidences, I found myself on a small sailboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a thousand miles and more from any land.”
That’s one for the big book of quotes, I laughed to the point of tearing up when I read it. Something about that statement I think is hilarious.

Coalsoffire: Too bad you missed my point.

John W. Garrett

w.,
As long as I live, I’ll recall similar experiences aboard small sailing vessels.
On occasion, I’ve tried to describe the magic of those moments to folks who haven’t been to sea. After the first couple attempts, I abandoned the effort and swore I’d never try again. I’ve frequently observed that, “You can’t photograph it and you can’t describe it.”
You’re better at it than I’ll ever be.

Willis , I enjoy your stories . I too have had many adventures due to misunderstandings and coincidenses . Fortunately for me they never ended in a jail sentence hahaha . Keep up the good work , both the science and the entertainmant .

Craig Moore

To quote Joe Flacco holding the Superbowl trophy, your writing is “f—— awesome!” My mind’s eye fully opens and sees through your words.

Coalsoffire

Reality Check
Oh. I thought we lost you because you can`t deal with people who can`t tell the difference between animals and humans. If that wasn`t your point then I guess I did miss it. This point was so fatuous and contrived that it didn`t really deserve a response. You need to get over the loss and learn to deal with people you don`t understand.
On the other hand if your point is that there are certain differences between animals and humans and that Willis is unable to understand them, then a better example than citing the simple phrase `mom and kid`will be necessary. Firstly you would have to establish your own definition of those differences. And are you referring to physical, philosophical, social, spiritual, or mental differences. On the surface your comment would seem to suggest that dolphins, unlike humans, cannot have maternal relationships on any level. It seemed like Willis was just describing what he observed and trying to make sense of it. Perhaps he totally misinterpreted what he saw and you can set the record straight. That would be much more helpful than a drive by post claiming that you were lost and Willis didn`t know the difference between humans and animals. Prove your point. To Willis it looked like these dolphins were nurturing their young. Tell us what they were actually doing.

Ian W

What did we look like to them? What did they think of us? Perhaps more than we know..
The phrase: “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!” comes to mind. (Douglas Adams)

Chris R.

Thank you Willis, for sharing the observation, how much it moved you,
and your imagination and dreams that flowed from your experience.

oldseadog

The peace of God starts 1000 miles from the land.

Willis Eschenbach

Reality check, here’s a reality check on my position on Walt Disney type images, from my post called “Conservamentalism”.

I was fishing herring in the Bering Sea one season. I heard on the radio that the annual killing of the Canadian Arctic fur seals had begun, along with the obligatory protests that seem to be required these days.
We’d caught about fifty tonnes of herring that day, killing on the order of a million living beings. I remember thinking how if some creature has big soft baby eyes, it gets lots of sympathy. But if a creature is slimy and has cold fish-eyes, its death doesn’t matter. People hated the seal killers for killing a few dozen creatures, while I killed millions of creatures and was ignored.
If I had to pick one word to describe my position on the ecological webs that surround us, it would be “realist”. Life eats life to live. I am not a man who eats the meat and blames the butcher.
I’ve worked a good deal as a builder. I build with wood. I cut down trees to make room for the building I live in. I grew up in the forest, my step-daddy was a timber feller, the royalty of the logging fraternity. I’ve worked killing trees on an industrial scale.
And I’ll also fight like crazy to see the logging done right. with proper roads and proper setbacks, and proper slope limits, and reforestation. I’ve seen what bad logging practices look like and do.

So no, I’m not the Walt Disney supporter you’ve mistaken me for. I am a realist about animals, I’ve lived among them. I care about them deeply, and I hunt them down and kill them and eat them. Go figure.
Your simplistic view of the world needs to expand so you can hold contradictions, because animals and our relationship with them is chockablock full of those buggers …
w.

Policy Guy

Willis,
I will join the chorus and thank you for your very engaging sea stories. Short on science or not you offer a lot to learn.

Referring to animals using human terms is scientifically and socially damaging. Animals are not people, people are not pet parents, etc. This is a very successful tactic used by environmentalists to get people to agree with their agenda. Remember the baby seals? The fuzzy polar bears? Walt Disney, Bambi and evil hunters? Now your child comes home and tells you that mommy polar bears are drowning and the babies are crying over the death of their mother and you should shut off the lights, stop polluting or the baby polar bears will keep crying. Polar bears do not cry and there is no evidence a baby polar bear “mourns” the death of the mother. Yet the image can burn a picture in your kindergartener’s mind that will be very difficult to overcome.
When scientists study animal behaviour, they number the animals in the study and refer to them by that number. When activists study animal behaviour, they name the animals and make them part of a family tree. Thus, science studies wolverines 1,5, 7 and 18 while activists study Barney, Suzy, Barney’s mom Wilma and Barney’s brother Mark. It is a difference most people never pay any attention to. But in the psychological battle for believers in a religion such as environmentalism, it is very, very significant.
What to call the dolphins: Females with young. Female one with offspring, female two with offspring. The females may take turns watching over the offspring. It’s not all warm and fuzzy, but it is accurate and does not give people the mistaken belief that animals are just a variant of humans. I do agree the dolphins were caring for their young, but not as a human family would do. They are dolphins, not people.

Willis Eschenbach

Reality check says:
February 4, 2013 at 8:01 am

Sorry, Willis, you lost me with “mom and kid”. I cannot deal with people who don’t know the difference between people and animals. You were certainly honest on “no science”, you just failed to mention the Walt Disney fantasy angle. I’m sure Walt appreciates your contribution to making animals human, however.

I wish I had lost you with “mom and kid”, you could have passed for a caring compassionate human being, but instead you had to open your mouth.
Now go do what you falsely claimed to do.
Get lost … it will do you good, being lost is an advantage to anyone.
w.

From Anthony:
He should read this article on how elephants grieve:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270977/Elephants-really-grieve-like-They-shed-tears-try-bury-dead–leading-wildlife-film-maker-reveals-animals-like-us.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#axzz2JxaAefqk
Doplhins, Elephants, Humans – all higher mammals. I’ll forgive “reality check” his inability to empathize, after all, he thinks wind power is the cats meow, so his version of reality differs from ours. – Anthony

DavidG

The most significant and only truly important emergent phenomena is consciousness itself. Physics will not be complete until there is an explanation for consciousness. The latest gravity theories are addressing this issue via the notions of signal non locality and quantum entanglement.

Without insight or wonder there will ever be deductionism and half-science.
Thanks for the smash-face reminder, Willis.
No matter how much we try, we will never know truth conceptually; even the bits we know aren’t “it.” WUWT is about refraining from finalizing “it.”
We are all dreaming and living; Willis is reminding us how this is to be done.

Willis Eschenbach

Reality check says:
February 4, 2013 at 11:09 am

Referring to animals using human terms is scientifically and socially damaging. Animals are not people, people are not pet parents, etc. This is a very successful tactic used by environmentalists to get people to agree with their agenda. Remember the baby seals? The fuzzy polar bears? Walt Disney, Bambi and evil hunters? Now your child comes home and tells you that mommy polar bears are drowning and the babies are crying over the death of their mother and you should shut off the lights, stop polluting or the baby polar bears will keep crying. Polar bears do not cry and there is no evidence a baby polar bear “mourns” the death of the mother. Yet the image can burn a picture in your kindergartener’s mind that will be very difficult to overcome.

Dang, my friend, get a grip! If you think that my story is “socially damaging” to children, I’d give any amount of money to not be your kid. “Burn a picture in your kindergartener’s mind” indeed …
Sure, people misuse pictures of fuzzy animals. But if you think that what I am engaged in here is some kind of sappy Walt Disney story, you definitely need your reality checked.
And when you say, “there is no evidence a baby polar bear “mourns” the death of the mother”, I call total bullshit on that one. All that one proves is that you haven’t spent enough time outside your mom’s basement interacting with the magical beasts we share the planet with. Dolphins will sometimes bear the dying members of the pod up at the surface so they can breathe. Elephants mourn their dead.
So no, Reality, I didn’t anthropomorphize the dolphins, they did that all on their own. They care for their young. They trade off childcare duties. They hold the dying above the water to catch their last breath and their last sight of the sun. I see that you think you’re much more noble than they. You actually appear to believe that you are a higher order of being than the dolphins, that there is some kind of mystical gulf that you are on one side of and they are on the other side, and you know what?
That is one of the sadder points of view I’ve ever come into contact with. You are cutting yourself off from amazing animals of all kinds by your pathological fear of Walt Disney. Sounds to me like maybe some picture got burned into your mind when you were a kindergartener …
Are dolphins happy when they get off work? I say the lady I saw was very happy, she’d had to swim placidly with the kid for hours and when her responsibility was done, she went gamboling and prancing across the surface of the sea. And you know what, Unreality Check? If you had been there, you’d have said the same thing, her relief was apparent to the whole crew, we laughed our asses off when we saw her dance away after handing over the kid to someone else. Sorry you missed the party … but then I imagine that is not an unusual occurrence in your life.
Finally, your beef is that I said “moms and kids” rather than “female dolphins along with juvenile dolphins of undetermined sex” or something?
Dude … get a life.
w.

David L.

Reality check says:
February 4, 2013 at 11:09 am
Referring to animals using human terms is scientifically and socially damaging.”…
True.
Hopfully sometimes in the spirit of poetic license it’s okay to write literature that deviates from scientific accuracy just for the sheer enjoyment of imagination.

Mark Whitney

Thanks, Willis! A mind made for science with a poet’s soul. I share that.

Vince Causey

Reality Check,
You should know the difference between a scientific report, fictional prose and poetry. They serve different purposes. Do you even know what a metaphor is?

Luther Wu

Mares eat oats and
Does eat oats and
Little Lambs eat ivy
A Kid‘ll eat ivy, too
Wouldn’t you?