When one man decided to give himself a swimming challenge, he never would have expected to witness such sights..
Dolphins are fascinating creatures, and when they surrounded this swimmer, he couldn’t help but gasp at what he witnessed.
The Man In Question
Years before he would have his life-changing dolphin encounter, Adam Walker was working in a dead-end office job. He would dread going to work every day, going to sleep at night with the heavy thoughts: Is this all there is?
Life Took An Unexpected Turn
Adam decided to make some changes and set himself a mission to become an endurance swimmer. He trained daily, practicing swimming long distances without coming up for air until he could no longer move. He meditated and trained himself mentally to push himself beyond the limits of what he believed he could endure.
Could Never Have Anticipated This
Adam Walker grew up in Nottingham, U.K., and had always been an avid sportsman. But his interest in sports always felt like a side hobby, little did he know that this newfound commitment to sports would change the course of his life and lead him to his once in a lifetime experience.
As soon as he felt he was adequately prepared, Adam set himself some impressive goals. In 2008, he successfully swam the English Channel and then turned his sights on the Strait of Gibraltar. Adam pushed himself to make a return journey. Amazingly, he completed this mission and became the first ever Englishman to do complete the feat. Despite his success, his triumphs did not come easily. Adam often found himself in the face of danger during these long and arduous endurance swims…
In The Face Of Danger
Endurance swimming was no easy activity. The sport required Adam’s body and mind to be at the very peak of their capacity. His first few months tackling the sport were a battle. After making his debut into the open ocean, Adam contracted severe hypothermia and had to take a few months away from swimming to adequately recover.
Oceans 7 Challenge Arrives
Just after Adam completed his two-way swim of the Gibraltar Swim, the Oceans Seven Challenge was first established. The event challenged endurance swimmers from around the world to swim seven open water destinations across the globe, including the North Channel, the Cook Strait, Tsugaru Strait, the Molokai Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and the English Channel. In 2014, Adam set his sights on his sixth mission within the challenge… to swim the notorious Cook Strait between North and South New Zealand.
Swimming the open water of the Cook Strait took Adam almost 8 hours and 36 minutes to complete, but the many hours spent in the freezing water wasn’t the only test the challenge would offer him. Half-way through the challenge, Adam noticed he wasn’t alone in the water.
Nerves Getting The Better Of Him
Adam always swam with a GPS tracker. The location device sent a signal back to land that offered Adam’s exact location. He could send for help if he ever needed it. After three hours in the water, Walker began to feel ill. He considered sending out the signal when an unexpected occurrence took place.
Adam had found his stride and felt a renewed sense of energy and commitment. He was determined to push through. He cut through the water, arms and legs working furiously. As he turned to take a breath before his next stroke, Adam saw a fin slice through the water. His face returned to the waters and he saw shadows circling beneath him.
Initially struck by fear, Adam now realized a school of dolphins had surrounded him. He had never had an encounter quite like this before and he suddenly felt vulnerable, alone in the middle of the depths of the ocean. What would the dolphins do next? Would they perceive him as a threat? Could a more harmful creature be lurking nearby?
Not For Long After Looking Down
Adam was soon overwhelmed but turned to his extensive training to help him through the ordeal. He continued to swim with new vigor and strength. It wasn’t until Adam used his goggles to look down below him that he realized why the dolphins had been following him. He looked beneath the ocean surface and finally understood the dolphin’s interest in his current position…
Starting To Swarm
Adam noticed that one fin looked particularly different from the others. It was sharper, larger and darker in color. Adam felt his heart leap in his chest as he continued to swim through the ocean. That fin did not belong to a harmless dolphin, it belonged to a shark.
Unprepared And Scared
The sudden threat left him feeling terrified and unprepared. Sharks were an unusual occurrence in this part of the world. He had to seek safety, far from the predator – but what safety could he find alone in the middle of the ocean?
On The Warpath
Adam caught another glimpse of the shark. Its body language was clear; this animal was on the hunt. The shark was tailing him closely, following his every move but there was something holding the animal back. Surely if it planned to attack him the shark would have made its move by now?
Lost For Breath
Adam finally understood the presence of the dolphins. These animals were not there by accident – they were protecting him from the shark, keeping him far from the jaws of the oceanic predator. After what seemed like hours, the shark gave up his quest and ventured off to find other prey. Adam believed the dolphins would leave him, but they remained by his side, swimming alongside him for another 90 minutes.
Shocked And Confused
Adam had never had an encounter liked this. These animals were showing intelligence and compassion, protecting him from what could have been a fatal encounter with one of the ocean’s deadliest predators. During one interview, Adam noted that the dolphins were swimming so close to him that he would often feel their bodies brush against him. He noted that he “felt very protected” and instinctively knew that the dolphins were there to help him.
The presence of the dolphins around Adam pushed him even more to complete his challenge. Although he had faced a predator in the face, he had received protection from one of the most intelligent animals on the planet and knew that he couldn’t give up. So, he used all of his energy and all of his might to start swimming faster. As soon as the dolphins realized that Adam was okay on his own and was swimming towards safer territory, they eventually left him to complete his mission by himself.
The dolphins offered Walker the companionship he needed to withstand the many hours in the cold waters. The creatures gave him the energy to push through the pain and the trauma of coming face to face with the shark. He pushed on but what would happen next?
Since the incident made its way to the online media, many have asked Adam how he knew the dolphins were specifically there to protect him. Adam spent hours researching dolphins and their characteristics, he discovered that dolphins actually swim six times faster than professional 50m sprinters. Adam was swimming at a much slower pace than that, which meant that the dolphins were intentionally swimming alongside him, slowing their pace in order to match his swimming.
Sharing His Life-Changing Moment With The World
After Adam experienced the life-changing moment, he was eager to share the story of his encounter with his followers on social media. He outlined the incredible story, detailing the shark’s sudden appearance and the protection of the school of dolphins. Naturally, his many fans were overwhelmed by the tale.
Adam often thought of the experience with profound gratitude. Without the companionship and protection of the dolphins, Walker could have never made it through the challenge. He would never have survived a shark attack in the depths of the waters. He owed his life to the compassionate and magical creatures.
4 Years Later….
It’s been over four years since Adam Walker took on his sixth Oceans Seven Challenge and battled with sharks in the Cook Strait. Since that fateful day, Adam has completed all seven challenges. He is the first British person to ever complete all seven challenges. Adam has also nabbed himself numerous other accomplishments. He has also become the first Englishman to swim from Spain to Morocco, as well as the first Brit to swim the Tsugaru Channel and the Molokai Strait.
Although Adam Walker plans to continue his career as an endurance swimmer, he has also used his newfound fame to pursue new opportunities to inspire others around the world. He now travels the globe, working as a motivational speaker, encouraging fellow swimming enthusiasts to pursue their dreams. Adam has even made a documentary about his encounter in the Cook Strait with the dolphins, and has called it “Conversations With Dolphins.” The documentary is sure to inspire those who are looking to tackle the depths of the world’s oceans.