Every time I see a dolphin in the lineup, I freak out a little bit. In a good way, though, not in the shark freak out way. I’m originally from Canada, and dolphins aren’t something that frequently cruise around.
That’s why when I moved to California, the first time I saw a dolphin in the water, I actually spoke with actual words to the person nearest to me. “Huh,” I grunted quietly, aware that conversation with a stranger while surfing is so totally not cool. “You see that dolphin?” He looked at me like I was the biggest asshole he’d ever met. “What the fuck is this guy doing?” he probably thought. “TALKING to me? What a kook!”
I couldn’t help it, though. My excitement at seeing a dolphin ten feet away trumped any sense of social decorum. It still does, in fact. Now, over three years later, I’ve given up any kind false modesty and throw caution to the wind when I see a pod of dolphins. I frantically paddle towards them, splashing my way through crowded lineups, chattering to every stranger I see along the way. I hate myself in those moments. But dolphins are way cooler than being cool, and god damn it, I want to be close to them.