My daughter loves dolphins. Like most girls her age, she has an affinity for all animals, but dolphins are her thing. She can name and identify every type, along with their range, age, and size. She has her career path all marked out, and at ten, has figured out where she needs to go to college, and what classes she needs to take to get her where she wants to go.
She has decided that she is will volunteer at the Outer Banks Dolphin Research Center. This is a fledgling Not-For-Profit organizations which is tracking dolphin populations in and around the Outer Banks.
So we have been out doing some fund raisers for them, but today we were going out to assist in some research. Our job today was to go out in a boat with a dolphin researcher to count and identify dolphins. Sounds easy enough.
My daughter, my wife, and I pulled up in the parking lot for our voyage out into the Albemarle sound. The researchers pulled up in the boat.
No, not this one.
Or this one.
Here we are getting on the boat. It was old and decrepit and with parts pieced together with plywood, but she was serviceable.
This is Jess. She was the biologist that went out with us. She knows her way around dolphins.
So we set out like the S.S. Minnow and traveled about a half an hour into the sound, and then we saw the first set of dolphins.
We got the paperwork out and started our observations.
We cut the boat around, and she stalled. She wouldn't start.
So we sat, and sat. The company was good, the conversation was lively, and the four of us had a good time regardless. We messed with the motor. We messed with the fuel lines. After about two hours we got it to start, but it wouldn't run above 6 knots (slow). The pace was agonizing, but we were glad to be on our way
Another boat came to meet us and followed us in as we limped towards the dock.
We'll be doing it again, hopefully in a new boat.