We went to the sea, and it held my awe. Strong waves crashed upon the shore. A dark form surfaced in the distance. “Did you see that,” my partner nudged my gaze in the same direction. I had seen it too. But what it was remained a mystery. We continued to watch it bob in the distance thinking it could be a log. Suddenly it came out of the water a significant amount. Cameraless and no telefoto lense to aid my vision, I waited.
We still couldn’t identify the creature. It was about 400 feet off the beach. With each swell we could see the dark form in the wave. Several times it surfaced. Several times we thought it could have been a whale calf. It appeared after to have a dorsal at times. Up and down, up and down with each wave. And then, it flipped to it’s side a little. At that point, we knew it wasn’t a shark. We knew it wasn’t a dolphin. It didn’t blow as it surfaced so no blow hole, not a whale.
We continued to watch it for about an hour. Mesmerized by what we were seeing. Curious by what we weren’t seeing. It stayed in the one area of the sea, seemingly playing. Up and down, up and down with a little poke out of the water now and then. My partner climbed a tree to get a better view, I jealously stayed aground. He thought it was maybe a sea lion. I thought, “Here! In DR?” Thinking all along nah … not possible. I was sure we had seen a dorsal. But hey at that distance …
We conferred with others standing by. Finally one woman was left with her partner a few feet from us. She called a conservationist and apprised him of the situation. Thinking this fish/animal may be hurt. One thing for certain, it was alone and appeared out of it’s element. It was moving very slowly making it easy prey.
… and then, there it was, plain as day … yes, we were watching a mermaid!
We had our very own private manatee show in the wilds of nature.
I am humbled. I am sad. I hope that somehow authorities manage to rescue this beautiful gentle animal. The promise of safety within grasp. The reality, the outcome, possibly very different.
Every day promises a new beginning. I hope our little friend sees many new sunrises.
Listen to the palms…
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