<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=192888919167017&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Monday, December 4, 2023
Dec. 4, 2023

Linkedin Pinterest

Everybody Has a Story: Dolphins rally for turtle in trouble


My husband and I spent 15 years sailing our 34-foot Chinese junk-rigged schooner, Batwing, around the world in our retirement. Batwing had two masts and two large, almost square sails, and looked rather like a flying bat when we put one out to each side.

We experienced many adventures but this one, in 1997, was our favorite one by far.

When we left Portugal the water was calm as glass, so we were motoring. We were not surprised when we saw a group of dolphins coming our way. They love to play in the bow wake and are really entertaining to watch.

But these dolphins did something different. They came in a line, turned around and headed back. Because this was so strange, we got out the binoculars to see if we could figure out why.

We could see they were circling something, so we decided to follow them and find out what it was. When we got there, we discovered they were circling around a small- to medium-sized turtle with a plastic bag over its head.

Turtles eat jellyfish and this one had made a big mistake! Of course, we decided to help and I ran for the fish net. With me lying on the deck and hanging out between the rails, my husband brought the boat up close to the turtle so I could try and catch him. Unfortunately, he broke through our net but I was able to grab the bag and get it off him.

Turtle and dolphins immediately dove for the depths and were gone from sight.

The whole incident reminded us of an old Lassie movie, just with different stars.

Everybody Has a Story welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. Send to: neighbors@columbian.com or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA, 98666. Call “Everybody Has an Editor” Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo