This is a tale of one woman's quest to understand and communicate with the sea's most mysterious creatures.
Of all the mammals on earth, none has inspired our affection as much as the dolphin. Fascinated by these creatures of myth, magic, and history, we have longed to penetrate the mystery that surrounds them and thrilled to the possibility of communicating with a species other than our own. In 1988 a group of researchers began a revolutionary experiment: they "borrowed" a pair of wild dolphins from the sea, studied them in captivity, and then set them free to continue studying the animals in their home waters. This is the extraordinary story of that project, an ongoing adventure shared by a daring team of humans and two very special dolphins that has built a bridge between disparate worlds and very different creatures. Now, Carol J. Howard, a researcher and primary member of the team invites you along on the coast-to-coast odyssey that began when two Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were captured in Tampa Bay, Florida, and transported to Long Marine Laboratory in Santa Cruz, California. Touching, enlightening, and ultimately inspiring, it's a story filled with drama, humor, and heartbreak - one that offers breathtaking possibilities and poses crucial questions for anyone who cares about the future of the dolphins ... and of the planet itself.
"Howard's compelling account...is as charming as her two aquatic companions....the heart of the book is the dolphins themselves and Howard's complex, not entirely comfortable relationship with them. 'Dolphins are highly social and sexual' creatures, writes Howard, who says they spend as much as 30 percent of their time rubbing and caressing each other....The ambivalence of Howard--and most other members of the team--toward the capture and captivity of their charges is the most wrenching and heartfelt part of the book. When a dolphin is captured, Howard finds herself crying....Yet the book is an apologia for such godlike acts."
"Two years in the life of a pair of captive bottle-nosed dolphins, yeomanly conveyed in the popular-science mode, with a halo of hard science...Dolphins may be directly related to cows and hippopotami, but in Howard's hands they emerge as pleasingly idiosyncratic, foible-ridden beasts, touched with a spark of the divine'."