I woke up early and couldn't fall back asleep. I looked out and saw a lifeguard vessel hanging out by the pier, and I worried they were looking for someone, so then I really couldn't sleep. I got out of bed with my camera and started to take pictures of the pier, the ocean and the many other sights that define the character of Oceanside.
The lifeguards, as it turns out, were getting in place for a triathlon. I've never seen the swimming part before, so it was fun to watch all the green-capped swimmers jump in and fight the waves. It was even more fun to watch the stragglers decide if they really wanted to do that to themselves (it's a bit chilly this morning). I spent a good hour outside, taking pictures, feeling like a slug next to the swimmers, giggling at the beachcombers with their metal detectors, and smiling the children.
After an hour outside, and more time sitting inside looking out, I was not in a hurry to go back outside when Mikey got up and started asking. He finally begged, very sweetly and manipulatively, and I couldn't resist. We went out, and I took a couple of pictures of Mikey and then I saw it: a black dorsal fin arching out of the water, not 200 yards from shore. I got my camera ready and, for about 20 minutes, I captured the dorsal fins of three happy dolphins, leisurely swimming along shore and playfully catching fish by the pier. (Sadly, I missed the one fluke slap.) The surfers all stopped and watch along with me. I was sad about how many people just walked by not noticing these rare visitors.
God gave us a great gift this morning. We got to see some of the world's most magnificent creatures right where we surf and swim and boat and play every day without happening. If Mikey hadn't been so insistent, I would have missed it. I thank God for small wonder that leads us to discover great wonders.