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They summoned dolphins and dolphins summoned them by means of a bell, called the dolphins' bell. Dolphineers were fairly common before the First Pass and wore flippers (dolphins refer to these as long-feet), goggles, a wet suit, and scuba gear (aqua-lung) to interact with the dolphins in their own environment. Dolphins revered Captain James Tillek, who the Hold is named after, for his help with dolphins. Dolphineer characters are prominent in the short story The Dolphins' Bell.
After the Second Crossing, dolphineering became forgotten and was not rediscovered until the Ninth Pass. Dolphins, however, didn't forget their human partners through the use of oral tradition, and their descendants over the centuries waited for mankind to remember them.
Dolphineering was rediscovered when Masterfisherman Alemi and his protege Readis of Paradise River Hold were capsized during a sudden storm and rescued by dolphins who spoke to them. Readis continued to work with dolphins and eventually founded the first Dolphincraft Hall.