Southern California environment news and trends

Assassins of the Sea

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.

Molly Peterson/KPCC

Two pods of dolphins kind of pushed a school of fish together so they could enjoy some Hobbit-like elevenses.

Molly Peterson/KPCC

Dolphins are the assassins of the sea, according to one aquarist from the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

Molly Peterson/KPCC

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.

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. 

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