So one day whilst we were being wizard and manifesting all of our wildest dreams, Big Kahuna and I were at coffee in LA discussing how insane it would be if we could combine our love of Morrissey with our love of Hawaii. Within a matter of days Moz announced two Hawaii shows. Coincidence, I think not.

I immediately took to e-bay, literally selling the clothes of my back, because when destiny calls you don’t start talking about costs, you answer the frickin’ call. Extra Fancy and I sat on the phone with pens in hand and scheduled the trip. Between e-biz and miles I soon had a ticket to paradise.

In my vision I imagined that Morrissey would stand astride two dolphins and, literally, ride a wave of awesome onto the stage. I’ll get back to him later, but after having a dolphin tattoo for over twenty years, I got to scratch “swim with dolphins” off the bucket list.

If you know me, you’re imagining this happened in a “safe” environment, like the Hilton, or some such fake zoo experience. Oh no, I meditated on living a long life and got onboard to be dropped in the Pacific in the path of a pod of dolphins. Yes, the very same Pacific where they filmed “The Reef”, “Jaws”, and “Shark Week”. I am critically terrified of open water and have spent years cultivating a deep conviction that I would be eaten by a shark. However, I have a dolphin tattoo, what am I gonna stay on the boat?

Here we are heading out to sea. It was seven thirty in the morning, the ocean was flat and conditions could not have been better. We sped out to sea and hung a left heading south along the coast to search for dolphins.

Wether we found them or they found us is up for debate, I mean it’s their home turf. We got our gear on and Captain Greg killed the engine.

It was un-fucking-real. The dolphins seemed as interested as us as we were in them. Coming up to the boat joyfully urging us into the water.

Extra Fancy was first off the boat and had been embraced as a dolphin. I lost sight of her and Kahuna as I realized I was surrounded by dolphins. I imagine this is how ET felt when he saw Elliot for the first time, but I’m ET and this is their forrest.

There were about twenty dolphins in the pod, including some families with new babies, who were about three feet long. I tried to control my breathing but instantly I started to cry. Crying with a snorkel on is an unusual experience, to say the least, and smiling, I gulped a few mouthfuls of salt water, but I couldn’t help it. It was the best moment in my life.

The dolphins were playful and came close to investigate me. Then, as quickly as they’d appeared, they’d shoot down, and out of sight. The only way I knew they were still with me was their constant chatter. Then you’d see one charging up from the depths, a stream of bubbles trailing from its’ blowhole as it’d break the surface. Following, I’d get my mask out of the water in time to see them spin and fly through the air, crashing back down to do it again.

At times I’d think they were gone and then I’d hear them “talking” and suddenly I’d be flanked by a couple of five foot long dolphins, swimming with me, and I swear to God, smiling at me. I got so choked up I was a bit scared of drowning on my own tears.

This is Extra Fancy and I after the swim.

I returned to the house and booked our next swim. Instantly wanting more, and not afraid in the least. These were my friends, and I knew they’d protect us.

The next time out the water was choppy, and by the time we’d spotted the dolphins, I was fully sea sick. I stayed on board with Captain Mike, who rubbed pressure points on my wrists to keep me from being ill. Noting my heart rate he told me that with my racing heart-rate I’d have attracted a shark, explaining that dolphins like a calm heart beat, and they especially like pregnant women as they can hear both heartbeats. On the contrary sharks, like a frantic heartbeat, which indicates panic and easy pickings and that was me.

Captain Mike and I kept talking and it turned out that he was the one who saved a woman from a waiting twelve foot tiger shark the first time I went to the island. Back then we were all super impressed and took his word for it that we were safe and had gone snorkeling with turtles. I was glad to be onboard with a bonafide hero. He told me the husband of the woman he got out of the water had called him crying, saying “Thank you for saving my life.” Captain Mike said, “But it was your wife.” To which the grateful man responded “Yes, she’s my life. Thank you.” I don’t know if it was the dolphins, Captain Mike, or the results of changes I’ve been making in my life, but that put me over the edge and I had a good and proper cry that lasted for a few days.

Hawaii, each time it gets better. I am super grateful for the invitation, the acceptance and the experiences. Mahalo Big Kahuna and Extra Fancy. Mahalo Hawaii.

* Please take the time to sign this petition to help to stop the annual slaughter of 20,000+ dolphins in Japan.

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