When our ship, WILLIAM H. STANDLEY (DLG-32), was on it’s way to Vietnam, we traveled across the Pacific Ocean.
As Navigator, I stood the 4 – 8 AM Officer of the Deck watch since I had to be up anyway to take a morning celestial fix. This was long before satellite navigation became common. We still relied on ‘shooting’ the stars, sun and moon with a sextant, the way sailors navigated the seas for centuries.
I loved that watch because it was alway interesting to see the different sunrises each morning. It was also interesting to see whatever ocean wildlife we would see as it became light.
It was common to see flying fish going along with us.
However, what I loved most was the dolphins. We often saw a few dolphins riding our bow wave.
However, one morning, as the sun came up, we saw something amazing. There were dozens of dolphins swimming along with us on each side. My best guess is there were a total of 100 or more dolphins spread out on each side of our bow jumping as if they were jumping for joy to be able to swim with us.
I have come to learn that this is called a ‘dolphin swarm.’
I was not a Christian at the time, but looking back I realize that this was a gift from God and one I will never forget.