Tuesday dawned to cloudless skies and light winds. It meant good conditions off-shore for the dolphin hunters and my uneasy feeling was confirmed as I passed by Taiji harbour. The drive boats, normally sitting in a long line around the harbour were absent from their berths. From the high point overlooking the harbour mouth, the ten drive boats could be seen describing lazy circles not far off-shore. The slow turns, with some boats stationary, told me that no pods had been sighted yet, and I prayed a silent prayer for their return empty handed.
It is not my intention to labour the point on specifics here. There were no trainers to select specimens. There were approximately forty dolphins coralled into the cove – none were spared. There were several juveniles amongst the pod. The despatch took longer than usual, mainly because striped dolphins will resist and fight.
I’m thinking of the word “trainer”. We are presumptious beings that we think we have something to teach these dolphins. Do we stop to consider that maybe we have something to learn from them?
Here is what I will take away from today’s events – the striped dolphin teaches me to rejoice in freedom and to have the courage to fight for what is important.
For the dolphins.