My fiance works in clinical research at Duke, which means he travels a good bit. In January 2007, he had to go to a conference at the Doral Resort in Miami. While North Carolina doesn’t get quite as cold as other parts of the country in the winter, Miami in January is awfully attractive and so I decided to take advantage of his free hotel room. Since he was in workshops and training all day, I had to keep myself busy somehow (laying out by the pool can only keep you occupied for so long), so I decided to visit the Miami Seaquarium.
The Miami Seaquarium itself was rather impressive, with regular dolphin shows, shark feedings, and the huge, swollen Manatees in their enormous tanks. However, I was there on a mission: I was going to swim with the dolphins. Another blogger Jessica Coscia details her experience swimming with dolphins at the Miami Seaquarium last September, and I had a similar experience as she did. The group of us that were planning on swimming were ushered into a classroom to be taught some basics about dolphins and then shown the dressing room, where we put on wetsuits.
After having dressed, we (we were a group of only about 10 or 12) made our way to the dolphin pool and began swimming with the dolphins. You can see from the photos that in one swim, we held onto the dorsal fin. In the second swim, we could choose between facing the dolphin and holding onto its fins while it swam backwards (which is what I chose) or you could float out into the pool on your stomach with your feet/legs together and the dolphin would push you through the water, like you were flying through the water.
In between swims, the dolphins swam around us and we fed them as the staff taught us about the different parts of the dolphin.
Like all exciting events, it was over before it started and all I have are the memories, the photos, and a Miami Seaquarium beach towel (a “free” gift after paying a hefty sum for the experience).
I know there are a lot of these type of opportunities around the Caribbean, at Cruise Ship Ports and resorts, but has anyone been lucky enough to see them in nature? Especially to have swam near/with them in open water?