82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, December 7, 2023


"Lady Salvor" is a big, muscular harbor tug in St. Thomas whose job is to push cruise ships and container ships in and out of their docks in our harbor.
Just after dawn Sunday morning, Lady Salvor left the dock and was motoring into the eastern sunrise. Just ahead of the bow wave, I could see from Lady Salvor's bridge, which is three stories high, strange turbulence immediately under the bow.
Curiosity grabbed me, and I ran down the forward ladder to the fore deck and peered over the big, black rubber tires on the bow. I could hardly believe my eyes; in the water just ahead of the tug’s bow were two beautiful creatures of the ocean. Two deliriously happy dolphins were frolicking in our bow wake.
I stood transfixed, staring over the bow for a few moments. Then I remembered my digital camera sitting on the galley table. I ran like I never ran up that ladder before and into the galley and there it was, just where I left it.
I grabbed the camera and repeated the return run to the bow. I hung over the bulwarks with the camera — my two beautiful creatures were still there, but now they had developed a choreographed underwater ballet.
The big guy was doing belly rolls as he crisscrossed over the top of the smaller dolphin from one side of the bow to the other. Then the smaller one would do a variation of this "Esther Williams" underwater ballet. This continued for the next several minutes as I greedily shot digital pictures of this wonderful rare experience.
Then the big dolphin took a huge gasp of air that made me realize our direct connection with our air-breathing cousins in the ocean, and the two of them peeled off in opposite directions and left Lady Salvor to do her regular work of assisting the approaching container ship.
Whew! Just another tugboat day in paradise.
Editor's note: Jane Immel is the owner and captain of the Lady Salvor.

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