To call today an Indian Summer would sarcastically qualify as Irish optimism, but a great day it was. The big candle was warming away a chilly breeze and the water was as crystal clear as it gets. I was in great spirit and Dusty tuned in; we had a grand, nearly two hour swim.
In my condition, dialysing and all, I wouldn't go swimming anymore this time of the year. I don't warm up before bedtime with just a warm water bottle on my lap and then I lie awake half the night, shivering. So I did something about that. On the grass bottom of my tent I put cardboard from the plenty of boxes that I get with dialysis fluid. On top of that went discarded floor sheets, then again cardboard in profusion, covered by carpet, double. Then I bought a gas heater, with three settings and like now I'm comfortably warmed, typing in my tent, my computer powered by the electricity generated by the drive up and down Doolin today and online by the aerial on top of my tent.
Yesterday was a typical Doolin Sunday. Lots of ferry trips and the usual boatery by Sunday drivers, ribs bulging with orange clad life-vest zealots of Dusty, so the dolphin was far too busy to spend time with swimmers. She just came over to say hello and sped away to the swift and shifty. Then it does come in handy as you take her as a bonus when having a great swim. Which I did around Crab Island. I met some surfers around the South point and was heaved meters in the surging swells. Still the water there is infested by Botox jellies and there's no sport in trying to avoid them.
But today was quiet in Doolin Harbour, at least if you blotted out the incessant hammering at the building site for the new Coast Guard station. Which I gladly did, for under water it diminishes to a distant thud. There were hardly any waves and the water was clear, so wading in was easy peasy.
At the pier, full stern ahead I dove for the seabed. There, to my disgust, I saw dozens of large dead crabs, belly up, the claws ripped off. Bon appetite!
But there she was, Dusty, at first a little cautious, quite a few people on the landing, all stretching out for a dolphin touch. But she kept hanging around and joined me in a few deep dives. Back at the landing she let me tickle her beak and then something amazing happened. Back in the old days I remarked in a Dolphin Address that at first I thought such a big animal needed a firm rub. And then found that she also notices and appreciates a tender, gentle stroke. Today I took a tiny feather that happened to drift by and tickled her mouth line with it, then her whole beak, her head and her chest. She absolutely loved it! I was flabbergasted. Sensitive skin, OK, but this sensitive, she never ceases to amaze me.
After lots of fast wing-in-grounds down the slipway and funny noises at the landing I was getting a trifle chilly&damp, so I warmed out to the lace weeds, were the water was considerably clearer. Dusty came along, but I felt a bit like thieving her from the pier crowd, so I swam back. After another half hour of antics I got another rush of shivers and swam away, out to the Donkey. Dusty had heard a ferry coming from Aran and went for a welcome swim. I thought, but she turned up again, appearing from under me and moving on like the starship 'Enterprise'. Past the drop I did some double nose-blow diving and found her around nearly all the time.
The Donkey is separated from the mainland by a trench that is only swimmable at high tide and high tide it was, so the both of us over-bellied the shallow, where large fish were sweeping themselves into hiding. At the ocean brink we turned and cozied ourself back into the harbour mouth. For a short while she was gone and presently I saw why. Huba Buba and a buddy were about to complete their dive. When they surfaced we exchanged a few opinions about a possible pregnancy of Dusty, but our gynecological insight did not produce a definite conclusion. Upon which I sped my nippy bod towards the shore, only to find out that I had forgotten to bring my therm bottle. So I had an ice-coffee instead and left the warm up to the sun. My video mask is failing me big time, so only just before bed I looked if there was anything on it. What a day for a dolphin, what a day for a dolphining dude.