Wild Spinner Dolphins
Letting Go - An Adventure with Wild Spinner Dolphins
By Karin Kinsey
I started researching dolphin swim programs and trips. Later that summer, I attended an engagement party for friends where I met Jon, a personal growth and workshop leader. He was leading a trip to Hawaii the following March to swim with the wild spinner dolphins on the Big Island of Hawaii. Our mutual interests soon sparked into romance. I signed up for the trip and agreed to help design the visuals for his flyers and advertising. I was thrilled! In my imagination I immersed myself in the dancing waters of Kealakekua Bay, I flew with the Goddess Pele over rivers of underground molten lava and sacred caves, and I felt the breath of balmy ocean breezes on my skin.
As the months went by and we got closer to our departure date, I began to wonder what the chances were, realistically, of actually finding the dolphins. After all, we were meeting them somewhere out in one of the largest natural bays in the Hawaiian islands. I felt a great sadness well up inside me as I considered the possibility that this encounter might not happen. For days I struggled within myself, wanting to prepare myself for a very real scenario -- the likelihood that they would not be there. Over and over I've observed this dilemma between the doubting mind and the heart. The heart longs and aches, and the mind scrambles to protect us from disappointment, from failure, from disillusionment. For days I prayed and had conversations with the dolphins in my head. Finally, I came to a place of letting go. I let go of my attachment to seeing them. If they chose not to come, that was okay. I would still enjoy my vacation in Hawaii. Nothing would be lost. In fact, everything would be perfect just as it was.
It was at this place of detachment, of letting go and surrender, that something miraculous happened. I was very busy with work the week before we were scheduled to leave. I was putting in long hours, and I had countless details to attend to. Then, in the midst of all this pre-occupation and noise, I started to hear something else. I started to hear, faintly at first and then louder, small distinct chirpings and whistlings. It became unmistakable -- it was the sound of dolphins, and it got louder. I don?™t believe this, I thought. I signaled back anyway: Thank you for communicating, but now I?™m having a hard time concentrating. All week long it was like being tuned into a very special and exclusive radio frequency.
At the end of the week we flew from San Francisco to the town of Kona on Hawaii. From the air I could see the moonlike lava landscape of the west shore. We arrived at our beautifully situated hotel south of town, ate dinner and then headed for bed. We were scheduled to wake up early, at 5 a.m. the next morning, to carpool to Kealakekua Bay with our wetsuits and snorkel gear. In the haziness of early morning light we sheepishly greeted one another, coffee cups in hand. My heart hammered in my throat. The moment had arrived. Would the dolphins show up for their date -- an invitation made through the ether and precipitated in the heart? Slowly, we drove the winding road down towards the glistening waters of the bay and pulled into a sandy parking lot. Large red hibicus flowers lay strewn across the ground. I walked toward the beach, and then I saw it -- the splash of a single dolphin jumping just off shore.