Thing to Do #2: Swim with…Dolphins

dolphin3dolphin4dolphin21dolphinMy 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?

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About Jessica

Mild mannered marketing drone by day. Bucket list adventurer by late afternoon. Having first drafted a list in high school, Jessica's list of things to do before she dies has slowly taken over her life and consumes her thoughts. Because of the list, she has traveled to Mordor, plummeted towards the Earth's surface from 13,000 feet up, cavorted with whale sharks in open water, skinny dipped herself into the Guinness World Book, and cursed the day she was born during the last miles of a Marathon. It's safe to say that if Jessica is doing it, it's on the list.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thing to Do #39: Go to the Races « 101 Things to Do Before You Die - October 1, 2009

    [...] officially completed this Thing to Do when I was in Miami in January 2007.  After I swam with dolphins, I went up I-95 to Gulfstream Park and bet on a few races.  It only took the window lady yelling [...]

  2. Thing to Do #38: See These Animals in the Wild « 101 Things to Do Before You Die - October 1, 2009

    [...] of Miami.  While I was at the Miami Seaquarium, we were at the edge of the park on the way back from the dolphins when we spotted a Manatee breaching near the shore.  Our guide was rather concerned, as a motorboat [...]

  3. Thing to Do #100: Reach 100 Years of Age « 101 Things to Do Before You Die - December 29, 2009

    [...] Visited Miami (swam with dolphins and bet on the ponies).  Took cruise to Grand Cayman, Cozumel/Tulum, Belize, [...]

  4. We’re All Connected | 101 Things to Do Before You Die - May 16, 2011

    [...]        Swim With Dolphins – [...]

  5. An interview with Jessica of 101 Things to Do Before You Die « Veni. Vidi. Vici. - June 18, 2011

    [...] interview features Jessica of 101 Things to Do Before You Die.  Jessica has swam with sharks and dolphins, and she is in the Guinness Book of World Records (that’s code for she’s kinda a big [...]

  6. Thing to Do #2: Swim with Whales | 101 Things to Do Before You Die - March 3, 2013

    [...] does allow for a simple sighting of said creature. I have successfully (and literally) swam with dolphins, sharks, and tropical fish. I was kinda hoping to check of this last one with a whale watching [...]

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