The "Captain and the Kid", dreaming awake the FUTURE!
Winter Solstice Newsletter 

From Captain Victoria at Dolphin Central

December 2013
Dear Victoria,

Little Erin at the wheel on the Winkie Two in Key West Florida in 1985
"Attention on Deck:........... NOW HEAR THIS!!!!"

Shades of my father's loud speaker aboard his destroyer; I heard this many times. Now I am saying it to let you know to pay attention to some great news!!!!

Some of you have already met my 1st mate; Erin Shanti Desmond as she has already done 75 charters with me this year. She is the answer to much prayer and of course everything came about by synchronicity. I am now 65 years young and ready to go play with my new husband even more. Therefore I am training Erin to be a Tropical Wilderness Guide like me so she can do some of my charters. I told her there will be times when I will want to be the Captain/1st Mate for some of my returning customers that have become lifelong friends.


This friends, is to let you know of my succession plan. Being a Captain is a very small part of this business of being a guide. Just to go and hire a captain, to take out my charters when I am traveling, would be a great disservice to all of you that have returned over the last 38 years because of the hidden ingredients that make up being a hostess in my backyard. Erin came into this world with those hidden ingredients and I detected them right off the bat.  It was not her intention, in the beginning, to be a Captain and Wilderness Guide. Erin is already an accomplished performing artist, yoga instructor, massage therapist and visual artist. I asked her, however she had her sights set on what she had already studied. One day she casually said, "you know I think I should document my hours", and WA- La; a captain in the making started then!!!!!  


Dede Desmond is a wonderful friend of mine who is more like a sister to me, Erin is her daughter. When Dede said her daughter was in town I offered to take her as my first mate just to get her out on the water. Well she became an indispensable helper who thought of things before I could ask for them. Now that is the mark of a thinker and loads of you folks saw this too and gave her big tips for being there for you, before you could put things into words. Erin is in SERVICE in the world and not only that, she is quite bright, playful, and happy and a great conversationalist too.  She was born here like me, so she is a CONCH as well, and has great deep roots. You may have visited her Aunts garden; Nancy's Secret Garden and played with her tropical birds that she has adopted. You can still visit Nancy's Secret Garden but it is more secret now, you have to enter the garden on William St now days, but she still has all the birds for you to meet and learn about.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to know that she will be aboard quite a bit in the next year as she trains to be a Guide and Captain. I already let her drive as that is the best way to learn the waters; it's the Environmental Marine Science that she is learning underway, just like you who return for more each year. Soon she will be doing more of the teaching, so I will know that succession to running DANCING DOLPHIN SPIRITS CHARTERS, will be a smooth transition.

I told Erin that I would come along as her 1st mate when you folks request me, so we can continue growing our friendship for many years to come. She loves children so she is a natural for all of us in the bigger bodies as the kid comes out with her joyful, playful spirit. 


Orienting the next generation to our wonderful water world

I am seven years old and the year is 1955. I am wondering if this has happened to any of you, my wonderful friends  that have chartered me and believed in me? I am thinking that I am not alone in having this happen, so give me some feedback, if you will. I call it "The DAY THE SWITCH GOT FLIPPED", I made a decision in a flash like someone threw a switch. That is what it felt like and I recognized it at the time like a light had been turned on, how about you?

Throughout my life there have been turning points that I recognized at the moment they occurred and it was a visceral feeling in my body as well as a mental knowing. This experience I am going to share with you was the moment in time when I started my career planning and I was only seven years old!!!!

I was at Rest beach, now called Higgs Beach, here in Key West  Florida, our Poinciana Elementary School took us on Summer Recreation field trips and this was one of them. I was in the water at the end of the pier with a mask and snorkel on. I had very bad eyesight and would dive down and have my face glued to the bottom investigating everything. I was so thrilled to see all the interesting life that I had never seen in books. Everything intrigued me and I wanted to know what it was. 

On that day I remember coming to the surface with some creature and showing it to all the kids up on the pier, they were all jumping up and down and screaming in fear. My turning point or MARCHING ORDERS happened then, I could not understand their fear of the water and its wonders. I made a conscious decision that day that never left me, even now. I said to myself "Self, you are going to find out what these things are and teach kids so they can come into the ocean without fear, I remember that like it was yesterday. I spent my school years in libraries and taking courses that would help me to erase the fear and replace it with knowledge, I had found my life's MISSION!

It all happened right here

My father, praise God/dess, believed me when I told him what I wanted to do with my life. He said" It won't be easy but I believe in you and I will help you". Being a girl was part of the "it won't be easy", but he trained me to run our families boats just like he did with my brother. We looked everything up but found that there was not a lot written about the critters under the sea here. We got orders to California when I was 13, Dad was in the Navy. California didn't have Marine Science in High School and barely touched the subject in the science classes in the 60's.    

My dad was like a private investigator and found out what he could for me. It's strange how that light glowed in my belly, my persona, as I went through life, it never stopped calling to me and I always knew I would answer its call. When I look back at that journey of Medic in the Air Force, 6 years of medical career as a med tech after that and all of my experiences, I realize how they helped me to be more confidant so I could take care of myself and others on the sea. At the time I was in the Air Force it never occurred to me that I wasn't going to live my life's dream; I knew it was still there and I never stopped thirsting for knowledge of all that lived in the sea.

So I came home to Key West, spent a year waiting for my residency for college and then used my G.I. Bill benefits to get my Environmental Marine Science Degree.

 That whole year I spent out in the backcountry learning how to drive my boat through the channels that had grown up since I was gone for those 11 years.  By the time I graduated I had taken all the courses for my captain's license as well and was now a Coast Guard certified Captain.  Two other newly graduated students and I decided to incorporate as a nonprofit educational 501c3 and began teaching in the school system. Nautilus Underwater Research was our name and I was finally able to start erasing the fear and replacing it with knowledge.  

We gathered critters from along the beach line, ones kids would see if they went to the beach. We used small inflatable pools and went to the pre-schools and offered ourselves and our knowledge for free. We were able to go to the pre-schools and just give of ourselves but that got us in the door of the Monroe County School System, they got word of what we were doing and gave us a grant. That fire in my belly was burning bright now; I was finally living my dream!

There was a closed science building in the old Douglas School in Bahama village that we were given to use. We had 6 large aquarium tanks, that we made ourselves and two large tide pools and they bused all the kids from K-6 grade to our lab as an extracurricular field trip. For two years we gathered critters from the beaches and then released them after only two days and got more so they weren't harmed by all the touching, I was in my element now.

I was chartering in the afternoons and then another light bulb went on, right when the grant money was running out for the school system. As a mom raising a 4 year old it wasn't hard to see the light bulb go on, I could still teach families on vacation that wanted to learn and not do just OOh Ahhh tourism. I didn't know it then but I was starting something that would later be called ECO-TOURISM, I called myself a Tropical Wilderness Guide and still do to this day. 

Delanie J. Kirwan: Friend, Author and Awarder

Diploma from the University of Life, Awarded by Delanie J. Kirwan October 21st, 2013


Delanie Kirwin, 16 yrs old, had to write a class assignment and I was chosen. I don't have words for the feelings that this writing has brought up for me except to say " It feels like I just graduated"!! Here is what she wrote and her Dad, Dave Kirwin, said she got an A. I feel like I received the A.


 "Victoria was an old family friend from the Keys. I remember counting the days until I got to see her again. She was a short stout woman with wispy silver and white hair. Hours in the sun left her face and shoulders covered with freckles. When she hugged me it felt like home, a warm safe embrace. She always smelt like the beach; Salt, Sunscreen, Sand...Dressed in long sarongs, a wide brimmed sun hat and dangling stone earrings. It only seemed fitting she lived on an island.

 Her voice was calm and intriguing. It seemed to me she knew everything a person ought to know. She shared her knowledge, and a smile, with the people around her, no matter where she went. I clung to every word.

 Together we used to spend hours exploring the mangroves, pulling on fins and snorkel masks, we'd dive into the cool, crystal waters. We'd chase the brightly colored fish and crabs, then return to the surface giggling. I was convinced she was a mermaid. It was the only thing that made sense to me as a kid. How else could you explain the dolphins coming to us, begging to be part of the fun? Today I have the same mentality; a sparkling image in the waves, of the curious mermaid who taught me the beauty of the world."


CAPTAIN VICTORIA'S STORY #2: Recent adventures from Dolphin Central
"The Water Journey of the BLUE BOTTLE"


Very probably many of you will remember me handing you the Blue Bottle of water, with prayers in it for the sea, on our charter together. Sometimes I forget for some reason but most of you have heard of the book "the Hidden Messages in Water", written by Masaru Emoto of Japan. My path in life is Mother Earth Spirituality and it stands to reason that I would do what I can for the waters of our world so I incorporate your help when you are out there on the sea with me. I took my very own WATER JOURNEY with my husband, Art, this past September and added water from many places from Key West to Minnesota and back.

Before leaving in September I did a charter with 5 wonderful "Goddesses of the Lower Keys" to do a water blessing ceremony!  It was our intention to put our hearts together to thank the sea and also to use our intentions for her to be well again. The experiments written about in Dr. Emoto's books prove with Science that we actually do have an effect on water with our thoughts. That is why I ask each of you to put your vision for a well ocean in the Blue Bottle of water before you sprinkle it in the water, and also to use your thoughts on your own bodies; and bodies of water where you live. I would be so honored if you brought some water from your water sources the next time you charter me.

As we were leaving to visit many families, that have become friends through the years of charters, with the intention of being at a wedding in Madison Wisconsin, I realized I didn't have to wait for folks to bring me water from different sources, I could do this myself. What a joy it was to sit by a river, spring, lake or stream and thank it for its health and vibration before gathering it in 15 different places, to go in the blue bottle. As you can well imagine, the dolphin were anticipating my arrival with water that was meant for their home to be well again. Intention is everything in life and I believe the dolphin read my thoughts and knew it would be special water.

As you can see from the photos they were very happy to receive and were delighted with my guests. The first charter I had when I returned was my longest standing charter ever, Ted Celeste and his wife Bobby with friend Michael, we are now over 30 charters! I did 6 charters very quickly in October and they were all phenomenal experiences but the one with Pat Connell, who was my hostess in Chicago and helped me collect water from Lake Michigan, was spectacular. Lin, the baby of Hatchet, who loads of you know well, was out of the water most of the time with amazing eye contact. I had a new friend along on that charter, Missy Ostrishko, whose life has been permanently altered by the dolphin, as have many of you.

The 13 indigenous Grandmothers have been teaching of the Water Journey that each of us can do for the water of our planet, please do your part wherever you live on any body of water that you can. Remember my formula from my teacher Jonathan Goldman, INTENTION + PLUS VIBRATION  EQUALS =HEALING! 

 (Just in time for the holidays!) 


Where is your tongue right now, don't move it, just feel where it is in your mouth.  Is it up on your palate and behind your upper teeth? That is where mine usually is and is stress related!!!

The #1 stress management tip is to take a charter and be on Mother Ocean with the dolphin. However I learned something you can do any time day or night to instantly release stress.

Tip # 2: DROP YOUR TONGUE! You heard right, yep just let it lay down and your palate get soft. This is a part of yoga I had never heard before. Dr. Chris Fedderman, a charter client, yoga teacher and great friend shared with us this past summer while doing "YOGA ON THE ISLANDS". Art and I went to her daughter, Kate's, wedding while on our water journey in September. On the wedding day we did yoga with Chris's yoga teacher, Scott Anderson, who makes this a part of his teaching.

Any time I want to instantly lower my stress level all I do is DROP MY TONGUE and it makes me relax, try it, you'll like it. Come on down and lets let loose together! 


Baby Lin, child of Hatchet, letting loose after receiving blessings from the blue her tongue is dropped!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end, hope to see you soon, and happy Winter Solstice!


Bright blessings and oodles of love and laughter,

Captain Victoria, and Erin



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Dolphin News
Summer has passed with many bountifully beautiful glassy calm days.

The babies are growing up, it is no surprise, however, I wanted you all to know how much fun we have been having together. Last year there were at least 15 regulars in the family that I visited so much and so close to home. Now there are at least 25 regulars there, and the children are training me well. Now they come to the boat when I give a nice bow wake without going on plane and let me know they want a push. I try it and sometimes they are more interested in each other or are just plain tired from their hard day of love making, fishing and traveling. More often than not, I get a few that want to play because Mom is going to nurse them later so they don't have to worry about getting fish themselves. They start out under the bow and as I develop a sizeable curl at the back of the boat they slip back there. We go for long distances on the sand bar as they leap out of the wave and flip and catch the next one. We have some great video footage of all this and I am doing my best to learn how to put it all in front of you. Here is some! And here is some more!

I just started playing them some Reggae and it is a big hit right now. I realize that they can get bored if I play the same CD's too often,so please bring some music with you that is a happy up beat tempo when you come next time and let's see what happens. National Geographic Traveler magazine wrote about me this January 2013, "she lures the dolphin to the boat with Itzhak Perlman". Now I have to get another CD as I scratched that one and they are waiting for it, they do love our finest and best musicians! For instance, our own locals Barry Cuda and Kenny Fradley are the music you hear in  the second video. I always tell those guys that the dolphin love to make love to their music and now you and they can see it is true. To order your own copy go to Barry's website, and find out more about Kenny Fradley by going here

   The Dolphins do seem to head me off at the pass more often these days, so we are meeting up in some nice calm spots; this is so great as it has been a windy winter for us this year! I truly hope your winter has been not too unbearable and you found some enjoyment in all the snow. Art and I took off to Maggie Valley NC to play in the snow last December; it was so warm they couldn't even make snow!!! We did find some in Pennsylvania though and had some great fun snow tubing and popping wheelies with 5 year olds again. I hope to see you again soon, so stay safe and warm up there. Bright Blessings from Victoria and Art.


Baby Lin joyfully makes eye contact
Reef Relief
I believe that most of you know about Reef Relief from our conversations in the boat. I take you out into the REAL classroom of Mother Ocean, however I wonder if you have ever gone down to the Historic Seaport at the end of Green St and visited our Reef Relief Environmental Education Center, it is a must see if you have children or are one yourself. The place is self teaching with environmental exhibits, literature and films free to the public. I am very pleased to tell you that the "Coral Camp" was packed all through the summer with more kids than last summer! We, I say WE because I my President Emeritus, which means I never get to quit the board, I just don't have to go to the meetings any more. So, we are still doing the "DISCOVER CORAL REEFS" program in the schools which I am so proud of, this is 25 years of educating our kids in the keys. It is hoped that they will carry home the messages to their parents, who might not have had the chance to know how they can help or hinder the reef.
We have so many wonderful volunteers who help to remove thousands of pounds of trash from mangrove shorelines, you can help too when you come back down, just stop by 631 Green St to just visit or sign up to help while you are here. Most important is to become an E activist by going to We invite you to read our monthly newsletter "Reef News" online, under Act Now click the "join our online Community" button to sign up.
Thanks for helping us work to save our beautiful and fragile Marine ecosystem!


Bill Belleville


Want to learn more about Florida's ecosystems and history? Check out the books by my wonderful friend Bill Belleville of Sanford Florida. He is a fabulous outdoor writer and has written about me for several times over the last 20 some years. On my website on the front page at the bottom is WORLD HUM, if you haven't read it yet just ry that out. I bet you will want more and you can find that at his link: 



Educational chart courtesy of Conch Aid,
Visit them here to find out more about how they are working to save the coral reefs of the Florida Keys

A photographic tour!
Gift of water from 6,560 feet up on Clingmans Dome TN.
Sweet water from the river flowing through Cades Cove TN
Ancient spring house in Cades Cove TN
Spring of Consciousness on Sacred Sanctuary Land in Wisconson
St Croix River Wisconson
Stream by the Sadlers house in Hendersonville TN
Sea Priestess sending healing to the home of the Dolphins
Goddesses on Water Blessing Retreat Day 
"Positive vibrations yeah"!