We were waiting on the dock at Oren for our dinghy to fetch us back to the Kaptan Sevket when Nicola asked Captain Mustafa about the sculpture of a dolphin with a child on its back high atop a pole there. Evidently there is a legend here, similar to the Greek Arion the Dolphin boy, that many years ago during a shipwreck dolphins appeared and rescued the children. The sculpture is there to remind the villagers of the kinship they have with dolphins.
It was a charming story and I thought little more of it until about an hour later when we were cruising toward our next anchorage. Suddenly Jennifer shrieked “Dolphin!” and Captain Mustafa dashed to starboard and up to the bow howling with joy. He grabbed a steel rod and began banging it against the anchor pulley and calling to them. One after the other they leapt out of the sea alongside us, a dozen or more sleek gray creatures arcing above the surface like dancers. We leaned over the rail, too awed to do more than shriek and wail.
“They were feeding,” Mustafa said, “that’s why some came, then turned back. They were busy. But they were playing with us.”
“What a sight,” I said. “There were so many.”
“About thirty,” Mustafa said, boyish excitement in his voice.
His whole life has been of the sea, yet no matter how many years he’s spent on the water, it’s clear he’s still enchanted by it. For me it was impossible not to be enchanted as well.