We just knew something special was going to happen on this perfect day. The lighthouse was silhouetted against the misty blue Hottentots Holland mountains. The water so glassy and iridescent, slipped smoothly past the kayaks like liquid silk. I would have been happy to paddle all the way across to those distant mountains again, as the conditions were so ideal, but we turned around the lighthouse instead and set a lazy pace for Windmill Beach.

Halfway there I noticed the water far ahead of us sparkled with unnatural fury almost as if it were on fire. I screamed “dolphins !!’  They were heading straight towards us, at least 400 strong and moving with breathtaking grace and speed.

Within  minutes we were surrounded by their torpedo bodies, flashes of white and gold, the water bouncing and churning as they swirled over and under us, twisting back at times to have a second look. I blinked hard at the tears streaming down my cheeks determined not to miss a moment of this amazing sight. The other kayakers sat frozen with wonder, hardly able to believe their luck.

The water was so translucent I could see dolphins six deep twirling around each other in an effortless dance with that happy expression that they have, smiling and curious, so powerful and graceful I could not imagine anything more beautiful.

We longed for them to stay but all too quickly they were gone, leaving us stunned and silent as the water slowly returned to it’s former tranquillity. My heart rate gradually returned to normal but I felt strangely high and found I had a goofy grin on my face which more or less lasted through the day and I don’t think I was the only one. For a sometimes cynical lawyer, William seemed oddly excitable and more delightfully cheerful than usual so thank you, you dryads of the deep for an altogether perfect day.

We will definitely be on the water on Wednesday evening. Maybe we will be lucky again – you never know!

Text by Margot King & Photo by William King

Hendrik was also there. “Ek het al soveel betowerende kayak ervarings gehad maar die een was baie spesiaal. Gister het ons die water gedeel met ‘n speelse skool van letterlik derduisende dolfyne. Ons het hulle in die verte sien en hoor kom soos ‘n tsunami, bankvas versprei oor ‘n area van meer as 300m. Die sonderlinge ervaring, omsingel deur ‘n massa duikende dolfyne, het waarskynlik drie minute geduur, miskien meer.   Ek was gob-smacked. ”

To read about kayakers being `herded’ by Brydes Whales click on http://scenicsouth.co.za//2010/03/watched-by-whales-off-simon%e2%80%99s-town/