I Kissed a Dolphin

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Captain’s Log. Diaper Date 2489. Daddy Chronicles.

The Captain had an amazing opportunity to go on an adventure with his family to Discovery Cove. I have chronicled the rest of the trip here at Life of Dad. You should definitely check that out.

In the meantime, I would like to highlight my favorite part of the day – the 30 minute dolphin interaction that I got to experience with my daughter. Mrs. Captain and her mom also got to experience it, but since our son was not old enough to participate, we had to be broken up into two groups.

The way the dolphin experience works is quite simple.  You start off in a very short informational setting, you watch a video, and listen to some simple, yet important, ground rules to help ensure a safe experience. our small group (they take groups of 8 out to the water – about 4 groups at a time) followed a trainer out to our location in the lagoon, and then we entered the water.

What my family enjoyed was that it was not a rushed encounter. As soon as you enter the water, you meet your dolphin. Our dolphin’s name was Maraya – an 8 year old spunky, friendly dolphin. We were instructed not to touch her until her blowhole was past us (dolphins don’t like to have their faces touched). As our trainer answered questions, and our group had a lot of questions, Maraya would swim in circles in front of us and  invite us to pet her.

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We were also given the opportunity to come out one by one and meet Maraya, and that’s when I kissed her. The trainer also taught us some hand signals to get Maraya to speak to us, wave at us, and then swim and jump out of the water. It was amazing. The cool thing about being in the lagoon was that there were other dolphins there as well. They were free to come and go as they chose to. Maraya hung with us most of the time, and each person got to feed her, but that wasn’t the coolest part.

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The experience culminated with an opportunity to swim with her. We were given the option of going to the deep part of the lagoon and treading water, or standing in a more shallow section for the dolphin to pick us up.  My daughter and I chose to stay in the shallow water. Maraya came by, picked us up individually (after the trainer gave us precise directions on how to hold on) and then swam us back to where we started.

IMG00014sm IMG_0087 IMG00030sm IMG00027smAnd even though my son was not old enough to swim with the dolphin, they did give us the opportunity to bring him in the water to meet Maraya, and take a picture with her. He even snuck in a little kiss. All in all, it was an amazing experience that we will not soon forget.  And we have vowed to take the boy back when he is old enough to swim with the dolphins as well.

I think what I appreciated the most of the visit was the obvious care that was given to the dolphins. All of the trainers that we spoke with were knowledgeable, informative, and caring. I would like to think that Maraya enjoyed our visit as much as we did. And we look forward to seeing her, and her friends, sometime soon.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned – The Captain has many more tales of vacation adventures to come.  But for now, Captain out…

Disclosure: While I did not receive compensation to write this post, I was comped two tickets and was able to purchase tickets at a reduced rate.  My thoughts and words are my own. If you don’t believe me, ask the dolphins.

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