A bottlenose dolphin breeches the water in the Florida Bay.
I've never been good at sleeping. I'm not an insomniac, just sometimes my mind kicks into 5th gear around 1:00 AM. This last Wednesday, wide awake at four in the morning, I dreaded the 5 AM wake up call for sample day. After three months of office work, getting back into the field with an hour of sleep proved a poor decision. I made plenty of mistakes and took severely longer than usual getting back into the swing of things. Tired, frustrated, and overheated, all I wanted was my bed.
Just when I had thrown in the towel, day dreaming of air conditioning, our massage chair, and jersey sheets, I spotted a pod of six bottlenose dolphins. The previous week, Luis Canedo taught me how to summon nearby dolphins simply by giving them a playground. Trimming up the motor and revving the engine, I created the largest wake possible behind our 17' Mako. Immediately, the dolphins changed directions and began drafting our boat, jumping and spinning in the waves.
Lucky, lucky, lucky. I have no idea if I'll ever get this close to a wild dolphin again.
For twenty minutes adrenaline took over and I felt as alert as ever. The high lasted until 2 AM that night as I edited the photos. Who needs energy drinks when you have the Florida Bay in your backyard? It just goes to show that even on the bleakest of days, nature can find a way to inspire, enrich, and awaken the soul.