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Assassins of the Sea



Grey days in Santa Monica Bay mean nobody else is out there except you and the dolphins.
Grey days in Santa Monica Bay mean nobody else is out there except you and the dolphins.
Molly Peterson/KPCC
Grey days in Santa Monica Bay mean nobody else is out there except you and the dolphins.
Dolphin off of Palos Verdes, October 25, 2011.
Grey days in Santa Monica Bay mean nobody else is out there except you and the dolphins.
Two pods of dolphins kind of pushed a school of fish together so they could enjoy some Hobbit-like elevenses.
Molly Peterson/KPCC
Grey days in Santa Monica Bay mean nobody else is out there except you and the dolphins.
Dolphins are the assassins of the sea, according to one aquarist from the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.
Molly Peterson/KPCC
Grey days in Santa Monica Bay mean nobody else is out there except you and the dolphins.
We were all going pretty fast. Sometimes I like pretending I can stand up in a dinghy going 30. Then I slam back down and consider myself lucky not to have dropped the camera.
Molly Peterson/KPCC


A downside of blogs is that I now reveal what I really do in the field to the literally tens of people who read them. Hopefully today that doesn't include my editor. 

Yesterday I was out in a dinghy out of King Harbor with Seth and Jose, two aquarists from the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. (I decided it was slightly moronic that I had never checked the aquarium out the whole time I've lived here, but I have been on the Ferris wheel.) They were working: gathering kelp and algae for their exhibits, talking to me about how they do it, where they do it, and what their conservation concerns are. I think I was working. It's hard to remember. 

On our way back from P.V. we ran into a pod of dolphins and so I pulled out the fancy camera I don't know how to use yet. Jose called the dolphins "assassins of the sea" which is sort of awesome; I wish I had a job description like that.

Playing with the dolphins of course put me in mind of one of my favorite monologues from A Long Day's Journey Into Night, and made me wish I was just being there instead of trying to record stuff all the time. 

I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself!

Let me just say this: I'm a radio reporter, people. Yesterday I was practicing a Grant Slater-approved method of photography. "Spray and pray." KPCC pays Grant to make videos, so I know that's legit.