My Swim with Wild Dolphins

July 4, 2018

Independence Day

Exactly four years ago, I got off long term opiates. Yay!! That was unending hell. You can read about it here.

But this morning, I was at Hermosa Beach early. Ocean Swim.

Mr. Pennington comes with me. He takes pics for my blog and his Instagram. This is way more fun than when he used to take me for a morphine shot at 2:00 a.m.

Found strangers to swim with.


Charged through the surf.


Plowed through the waves.


Out and around the pier.

Good morning.

A post shared by Zachary Pennington (@zachpennington) on

At the north side of the Hermosa Beach Pier. Trying to stay clear of the fishermen’s hooks.


My new friends had different plans: swim north to Manhattan Beach Pier. Not me today. I was staying local.

I was left swimming alone. Back and forth, back and forth, parallel to the shore for a while. It was lovely out. There was a northbound current coming up from Mexico. The water was quite warm. I was a little hot in my wetsuit.


I was not alone for long.


Four dolphins escorted me, surrounding me as I swam. Here is one breeching behind me. I was glad they were there. It is a little scary, being so far out by yourself. Scary but thrilling. 


Mr. Pennington’s Instagram. I would date him just based on his Instagram.

Two swimmers. #latergram

A post shared by Zachary Pennington (@zachpennington) on

Later that day.

All cleaned up, I made a wish in Little Tokyo and tied it to a tree. Very Japanese thing to do.

What do you suppose I wished for?


A little sunburnt. A little tired. Definitely happy. Happy July 4th. 


Today was a great day in my life.