Uhane Nui O Nai’a: Connecting With the Great Spirit of the Dolphins

This is me giving the "Hang Loose" sign underwater

Early yesterday morning saw a full moon casting a “moon river” over Kealakekua Bay as Lynn Powell and I were the first to arrive slightly before 6:30 am at one of our favorite spots to hang out with wild dolphins. We waited quietly on the shore for about 20 minutes and then many dolphins began spinning and jumping out of the water and tail-slapping, not more than 100 yards from shore! The water was totally quiet – the quietest I have seen it in that bay since I began swimming there almost 20 years ago.

Swimming together as one pod.

It's not easy getting good photos of dolphins underwater, even when they are quite close. Here they are swimming around us, checking us out.

Lynn Powell is the jeweler who makes the angel bracelets I often give to participants in my trainings. She swims most days when she is home and not flying somewhere around the world as an airline attendant. We had an awesome swim together today.  For more than 90 minutes, dolphins were swimming really close to us, looking me right in the eye. There were many groups of 4 or 5 dolphins swimming close to each other as they do – often rubbing sides and sometimes bellies. It’s fascinating to watch them move through the water in small groups or pairs – as though they are holding hands! Many were picking up leaves and dropping them in front of me in a clearly playful gesture, and they seemed to like it when about 8 swimmers hung out together in the water watching them. I had the feeling we were looking like a pod of dolphins to them.

I had a similar experience 15 years ago in the same bay when Joan Ocean and I went out in a zodiac (a rubber boat) and five dolphins stayed with us for more than 2 hours. Joan had brought a few big leaves out and dropped them and the dolphin kept circling and delivering the leaves back to us.

Each year in February during the TTouch for You & Your Horse and the human weeklong retreat, TTouch for You, we take everyone to swim with the dolphins with our friends China and Melainah of Sunlight on Water. We’ve often been in the water with more than 100 dolphins all around us. Swimming with dolphins is one of the most profound and rare interspecies connections a person can make. Why don’t you join us for one of these spectacular trainings and experience this for yourself?

This is the boat we ride on when we go out with Sunlight on Water during our Hawaii trainings.

Today’s dolphin experience was reminiscent of the Dolphin Guided Journey I often lead people on. We recorded one such guided journey at this year’s CELLebration in Santa Fe, and at some point this winter I plan to have a podcast of the Guided Dolphin Journey for those who would like to take it together.

Another dolphin experience: with Keiko (from the movie "Free Willie") when I worked with him before he was shipped to Oregon. When I got in the water to swim with Keiko, the dolphins kept surrounding me, seeming to want to participate.

My first dolphin encounter with "Holy Fin" (you can see the hole in her fin) at Monkey Mia, on the west coast of Australia. I had met her 2 years before and stayed in almost daily communication with her. This was my first visit back after 2 years and she came right up to greet me as though she knew me. It's the only time she did this. I tell the story in my book, "The Tellington TTouch: Caring for Animals with Heart and Hands" - a about my travels around the world working with many different species.

© 2009 – 2011, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.

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