4/27

Nineball Island—The morning begins with dolphin shows. Did I tell you? After we found Pinky at the North Pole, Finley dropped by and challenged us to put on 20 “excellent” dolphin shows for “people of his choosing,” or train dolphins 100 times. If we do, he’ll tell me a secret. Though the prospect of Finley putting his greasy lips to my ear is not much of an inducement, I think this has something to do with getting a freshwater dolphin to open up that hidden part of the Cortica River, so I better go along with it.

There are probably more discussions on the GameFAQs message boards about dolphin shows and training than any other topic. Lots of good advice about levelling up and special tricks and Wii remote wrist techniques, and I’d be wise to pay attention. But it’s all occult science to me—I try to care, but I can’t. What I do: I feed them a couple of fish, set it on free training and go off to watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race or something, and pat their heads when it’s over. When it’s showtime, I just tell my girls to do their best and hope people like the show. I’m probably the worst stage mom in show business.

Anyway, I’ve done about 5 shows already, and it’s really hard to tell how they’re going to be received. Sometimes the dolphins really pour their heart into a performance, but the audience comes away unimpressed; sometimes they put on a mediocre show, but get rave reviews. I don’t know whether any of these shows are going to count toward the 20 I need or not—all I know is they pay, and that’s good enough for me.

After 2 dolphin shows, it’s time to go diving. I’ve got a request to find the Pirate Pottery in the Zahhab Region Depths, which coincides nicely with a photo request for an oarfish. I’ve finally learned to tell the difference between the north and south crevasses, so I can dive directly down there without having to wander through caves and cul-de-sacs. After I find the treasure, I leave the multisensor on and find a lot of stuff somebody’s missing.

Now for the oarfish—I wanted to shoot one on my last trip to the abyss, but even with Hayako’s help, I couldn’t find it. Trouble is, there’s a lot of vertical space up and down here, and it’s all a matter of finding the right depth. I finally spotted the oarfish writhing through the gloom at around 400 feet. My heart beating faster, I swam up beside it, turned and started shooting. Afterwards I goofed around with the Risso’s dolphin and provoked an encounter with a sixgill shark.  When my “out-of-air” warning alarm went off—first time that’s happened in a long while—I swam all the way to the surface. (Decompression is for wimps.)

Bluntnose sixgill

Risso's dolphin

When I returned to Nineball, I gave Jean-Eric my best shot of the oarfish, then went to bed and awaited the results. The editors at Maritime Weekly were very impressed, gave me an “A” and a cover! Now my work will be seen in harbormasters’ offices and marina waiting rooms the world over!

 Today was successful monetarily for me as well:

  • Dolphin shows: 5016 P
  • Fresh fish: 3000 P
  • Pirate Pottery: 1700 P
  • Misc. salvage: 25770 P
  • Photo: 3500 P
  • Day’s total: 38,986 P

My game total is now 669,779 P. I’m inching closer to the Chamber of the Gods.

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