On Monday afternoon I walked over the ramp at Lifeguard Beach and cast my eyes on one of the calmest oceans imaginable. There were only the gentlest and tiniest of waves lapping the shoreline, and no swells to break the wide expanse of the sea. It was, as islanders say, "slick cam" (slick calm). I was surprised to see one of our local fishermen skimming along the water's edge, just a few feet from shore, in his flat bottomed skiff, searching for rock fish.
But where were the dolphins? Normally, in the winter, especially when the ocean is flat, dolphins are regularly in evidence. I scanned the water in vain as I walked a mile or so north. And then suddenly I spied a pod, ahead, and out a hundred yards. Before long more and more dolphins showed up. There were dozens, maybe hundreds, spread out in lines and groups, some coming so close to shore that I could have easily swum beside them. One turned on its back and flipped towards me. Another just lolled there, apparently enjoying a short rest. Still others splashed and raced. Were they playing or feeding or courting?
All too soon it was time to head back home...to our quiet little village resting amidst the cold, short days of mid-winter
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter discusses place names on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news113009.htm.