A freezing morning, with a sharp blast coming from the north as we run towards Bamburgh again. Our copious fur keeps us comfy, no matter what Jack Frost’s up to, but it’s touch and go for Kemo Sabe as to whether there’s enough covering on head, heads and legs before tackling the beach, especially as the sun isn’t even properly up when we get there. Today, trundling straight into the prevailing wind, fingers went numb but – stopping to rub them into a bit more life – we looked up and saw beyond the rocks two dark-skinned creatures slicing the choppy waters with their characteristic deliberations. Wondrous to see them, after a year when we’ve been so unlucky in this respect while boatloads of strangers have had countless sightings of bottle-nosed dolphins and even minke whales; and particularly as they are sent across into our world on a day when burdens need bearing.
Such sinuous and purposeful agents, to witnessing whose activity we are only given intermittent access, by indirection find direction out, as someone famous once said. In our imaginations we follow them into the deep, holding our breath as long as we can but knowing we must sooner or later give ourselves up to reality. We turn away from the wind and leave them to both it and the water. Gathering speed, I begin to describe circles and then figures of eight around and about the others, the Spirit spurring me on. These common dolphins – for now we know them to be – are rarely seen up here: another paradox for me to ponder on.