Happiness and dolphins in Brittany

Last Sunday morning, we got up kind of grouchy. We, being Popeye and I, all by ourselves at Les Tertres finally facing the end of our summer holidays. As if we were leaving Brittany once and for all.

Plus we knew we had to tidy up the house. And we had to clean it from top to bottom... more or less! And we had to pack our stuff because we were going back to Paris - heart check-up time at the AHP. 

I was grumpy because I usually do all this when Popeye goes back to work and he comes back every week-end to Les Tertres until the end of September and sometimes until mid-October. We spend our last week-end there leisurely enjoying whatever is to be enjoyed... either boating or spending our last day in our beautiful garden. Like I said - as if we were leaving Brittany once and for all whilst we come back so many times all year long.

Well, the summer vacation is different.

This year, Popeye had to do everything in a hurry on his own since I still feel a little bit tired.

Our day had barely started and it was breakfast time. Popeye was in the kitchen getting our fresh orange juice ready while I was setting the table right in front of our picture windows.

It was very beautiful outside as usual, well better than usual because it was very sunny and calm. A very beautiful morning... The tide was ebbing.

I was putting our bowls on the table when something attracted my eyes.

Right below our house, the sea was sort of boiling and the black-headed gulls were flying like mad over the frothing water.

Because all summer long we have been lucky enough to come across some of them several times, I know that the sea starts bubbling for one good reason and only one: dolphins. At least in Brittany.

There they were. About ten of them. Fishing determinedly very close to the shoreline. Followed by a hundred gulls or so, quite disturbed. Unwilling to land on the sea where they could be knocked about by 3-meter long dolphins intent on chasing and eating mackerels. And yet so attracted by the fishing itself, the way they follow any fishing boat, small motorboats or big trawlers.

I called Popeye who rushed by my side to the window.

Wow. This was getting totally incredible. Watching dolphins from our house.

We even forgot all about taking pictures. You take pictures when you are boating around dolphins.

When you are getting ready to eat breakfast at home and you spot dolphins in the sea down below, you feel like you’re still in dreamland and you forget all about your camera. You gape at the amazing and splendid show that is happening at the bottom of the cliff. 

"Pinch me," Popeye said. "I am dreaming."

We were not dreaming. We watched them until they went on their way to the open sea and then we lost sight of them.

Our coffee with milk was cold. We drank it quietly while glancing down towards our beloved scenery. But the dolphins did not come back no matter how much we wished to see them again.

So we started packing and cleaning. Then we closed the shutters. We set the alarm system on. We locked the door. And we left.

I’ll be back next week though and I imagine that I will spend a lot of time watching the sea from my picture windows. And then on a beautiful morning...

A short note about bottlenose dolphins.

Their number is increasing in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc where we live. This summer, they were so easy to spot that instructions to locals and tourists alike were issued in the regional papers.

We were told to refrain from swimming with them, from feeding them and from trying to pet them. Which sounds quite obvious because in the Channel, dolphins truly belong to the wild. 

We were told not to bother them when they are fishing and how to get in contact with them when they are in a playful mood which obviously happened very often this summer. Because lots of people reported encounters with dolphins. Most of them were happy. But the anglers at sea started grumbling because having dolphins around you while you are fishing means no fish left for the fishermen.

Dolphins are very friendly marine mammals. Running into one pod at sea is a magical experience. Probably because it is still unusual. More certainly because dolphins belong to a world that touches the right chord in our inner child psyche.

Dolphins busy fishing. Do not disturb!

Dolphins in a playful mood. Enjoy!

All pictures taken during the summer, in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc or closer to Normandy, by Chausey. All of them in the open sea.

*Good Luck, and Good Night*


Nancy said...

Amazing! What an incredible sight to see. Sometimes I think I should've been a biologist of sorts because I find animal behavior fascinating.

Myrna said...

That was awesome to read about! Would have been incredible to experience!

Nancy WAS a biologist of sorts as a child. Always doing things with plants or crawly things...