A chance to say goodbye to some friends (both human and dolphin)
I finally arrived back on Mikura on the 20th after heading to Tokyo to pick up my wife. We took the ferry back to Mikura, but (as usual) it was cancelled. We sailed on by Mikura and straight on to Hachijo. It looked like we were headed back to Tokyo, so a small coalition of disgruntled passengers formed an expeditionary force with the plan of getting off at Miyake-jima and trying to charter a boat to Mikura. We disembarked at Miykae, but were unable to get a boat, so we ended up staying in a hotel for the night. Miyake has been devastated by a volcanic eruption and five years later the island has still not recovered. It is like a ghost town – uninhabited building, dead twisted trees and rusted out cars lining the roads. Poisonous gas still spews from the volcano on a daily basis, so it did not smell all that good either. To make a long story short, we ended up chartering a fishing boat the next morning and finally made it back to Mikura. It was a good move – the ferry was cancelled for 2 days in a row!
Anyhow, today we headed out with Omori-kun for what was to be my last dolphin trip of the season. The camera and other equipment has already been packed up, so I made the trip feeling a bit naked. It is an entirely different experience to swim with dolphins without the MVA in tow. It was an absolutely amazing day! The water was calm, the sun was shining and we ran across a HUGE group of mixed males and females out by Subarune. A few favorites were there including #161 (Koshakure). On the way pack to port, we followed this group which consisted of roughly 35 dolphins all traveling and socializing together. It was one of the largest groups I have seen all season. A great way to end the season for me!
Everything is all packed up and ready to go – tomorrow we hope to get the ferry back to Tokyo. The weather is great, so we hope the ferry will not be cancelled. Tonight there was a going away BBQ party for me at the park complete with corn on the cob Japanese style – doused in soy sauce! It was a great time and I will miss all of the friends I made on the island. So sleep well – this is my last night on Mikura for a year!