Truly this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing for us….. it had been on my list of “wanna-do’s” for a long time – so we just did it! Oh. My. Goodness. If you EVER EVER EVER get the chance to go swim and play with dolphins, and there’s ANY way you can swing it, just do it. Don’t fuss about the money, just do it.
At the Atlantis Palm, where my friend Koral and I had gone to the Lost Chambers Aquarium they offer a number of dolphin experiences at different price points and levels of interaction. You can select one that fits your comfort zone, from kneeling at the lagoon edge and having a dolphin swim up close to you, to an experience that involves two dolphins, each one nosing under one of your feet, propelling you through the water! We arranged for an appointment early in the morning… 1030.
I will never forget seeing our dolphin Mani Lou for the first time…. She was a lot bigger than I expected her to be for some reason. She loved me. I know she did, because she smooched me and asked TBG for my number. At least that’s what he said….. . And once, when she passed me, she swatted my legs with her tail!
The animals’ trainers appear to care very deeply for the welfare of their critters – they take great pains to provide safety instructions that are understood by everyone, including the youngest kiddos there. We had to attend a safety and informational seminar before we could get in the water with their critters – I was very glad to see the obvious care they took to assure the dolphins’ safety and well-being.
We got to watch her swim for a bit and do some cheesy dolphin expected-stuff, but we were introduced and got to pet her, and watch her swim, – she’d rub up against us, roll over on her back for belly scritches…. And looked at me like she knew *exactly* what I was saying to her, thanking her for allowing me to come to visit her in her world for a little while, and for playing with me. Oh. My. Goodness. It was amazing! She was all rubbery and leathery and smooth and scarred and warm – not at all the cold wet feeling I’d anticipated. We were all wearing neoprene wet suit things, and oddly, I think we felt sorta like her in the water – that neoprene wetsuit stuff is almost like dolphin skin.
There were dolphin hugs, kisses, a dance and tricks – each making me giggle even more than the last. TBG was really liking this interaction – it was great fun watching him, he was smiling and laughing at her, and was just having a great time and so was I!
Watching the small children that were also in this experience was enthralling. Some were scared, some just a bit nervous, but one little girl was quite bold and eager….. I think her example helped the less-excited ones to be a bit less apprehensive. Once engaged, they were an odd sort of a matched pair – the dolphin and the child. I believe that there was some strange communication that happened between them and it was truly a special thing to observe.
This was truly one of the most fun things I’ve done here in Dubai.
Swim with Dolphins – check.