Feb. 8, 2023
- Logbook
Tres Hombres

The dance of the dolphins (Susanne Gwilt)

Do you know the calendars with large photos for each month?
These contain colorful photos of spectacular landscapes, cute animals or romantic motifs. Surprisingly often, calendars are filled with photos of dolphins.

I often wondered: why exactly dolphins? No matter if they jump into the dramatic red-colored sunset, if they dive through the blue water or guide the ship at her bow, people seem to like them so much that they love to see a new photo of dolphins every month.

I had not yet seen dolphins when I came on the Tres, but it was an incredibly intense experience. We seemed to meet them on the same level.
Suddenly this group of dolphins seemed to follow the ship for a while.
The wet shiny bodies slid close under the surface. Here and there a dolphin's tenderly curved triangular fin cut the shimmering sea, just for a moment, until they faded again to greenish shimmering shadows in the water.
There is no gravity as they glide from side to side under the keel of the Tres. Without sound, they shoot through the water like shapely arrows using all three dimensions to pass each other. Often there is no more than a hand width of space between them, but they never collide. They follow the Tres easily. Always dancing around her bow with changing choreographies. Sometimes they are two or three, sometimes they are alone. Their path meets and then they separate again constantly crossing and bending around each other and the ship.
There are no rules governing their performance. No laws or plans dictate their movements, even though they seem to dance to a silent melody. Is it perhaps the melody of the waves, the wind and the current? Music that we humans can hear and which certainly moves us, but which we do not know. It is like encountering the music of a foreign culture, which touches and fascinates us and which we can study until we know it very well, but it never becomes as intuitive to us as someone who grew up in this culture.

We dance with the Tres over the waves, and we adapt to the music at sea, but we remain strangers in an element in which we alone cannot survive.
Dolphins, on the other hand, are at home in this element. We, humans, watch them in their natural environment. We watch them leap high out of the water as if there were no gravity and the next moment disappear in the flood of a wave. There is no effort, to follow the whole dimension of that wide blue. Dolphins seem to be one with the water that surrounds them.
Perhaps that is why we humans find it so fascinating: They naturally inhabit the sea. Do not dolphins symbolize the gentle flow that accompanies a simple life governed only by the law of natural forces, guided by a melody of nature that we humans have not heard for ages in our element because we make so much noise ourselves????


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