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Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Friday, 7th December 2001

Nick, ready for take off Well, it all went horribly wrong for me today – I rushed home from work put the dog in the car, arrived at the beach and realized that I hadn’t packed my swimming gear, not very clever. So I had to rush off home to get it. By the time I arrived at the beach, my head was not really in it, so I had only a very quick swim. Nick on the other hand had an amazing swim, so todays diary entry will be from him………….

Where do you start when it comes to swimming with the big fat fish that is Fungie?
Well there is a whole pioneering spirit about the thing that strikes me every time I begin that 10 minute trek from carpark to beach. With backpack and board we are on a mission, all parties concerned already locked into the mindset of the skirmish ahead. Variations on a theme involving the same group of people but with a synergy of numerous combinations. Who’s up, who’s down, who’s buzzing on the day with all the energy – human dynamics. And then there is the biggest unknown quantity cruising around out there, the mad fish himself. The interaction has already begun with Fungie surreptitiously stalking us around the point, sussing out who’s there. You get the sense that he has a game plan formulated already. I give him a ‘whoop whoop’ to let him know I know, and the scene is set.
By the time I am kitted up and ready to roll Keith and Andrea are in the sea, Fungie is straight over to them but not really engaging. I walked down the short stretch of sand towards the water breathing deeply, releasing the chi. Next second, Fungie’s leapt out of the water and charging into me and I havent even got my feet wet yet! Today is my day. ……..When he comes at you like that he is giving it his all and you can but only reciprocate – energy for energy and it is incredibly physical. I have had a bad back for four months that has severely restricted my flexibility and movement but I am much better now and he knows it. I am on the board fining for all I am worth and he is hydroplaning at me, top speed, we are going head to head. It’s a powerful sight, totally bonkers when he is steaming in like that and my adrenaline is pumping overtime. A twelve foot dolphin at terminal velocity could kill a human with one blow; but this is just one of our games. At the last moment he had done a u-turn and inverted. He has gone from blue (back) to white (belly) and then all in a split second disappeared altogether, literally leaving a hole in the water that I drop into. The wave washes over me and then look who’s here, Fungie is in my face now and we are eye to eye. But again just for a second and then we are off into more moves, zig zags, spy hops, jumps. I slip off the board diving under and he is still there, swimming beside me throwing shapes, pushing the limits. Boisterous one minute, clunking me on the head with the underside of his beak, and then getting really mellow the next. I can do no wrong today and we have a ball. I know of nothing else in this life quite like it, you gotta love him that big mad fish.

Nick Massett
Date Posted: 07/12/2001
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