Smooched a Dolphin – and I liked it!

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What a sweetheart!

What a sweetheart!

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.

Dolphin Bay!

Dolphin Bay!

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!

A couple of the trainers and a dolphin

A couple of the trainers and a dolphin

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.

TBG danced with her, holding her flippers....

TBG danced with her, holding her flippers….

Then the dance was done!

Then the dance was done!

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!

Look at her, smooching on my guy!

Look at her, smooching on my guy!

One of my favorite photos

One of my favorite photos

We could have stayed there all day with her!

We could have stayed there all day with her!

Can't you just tell that she loves me??

Can’t you just tell that she loves me??

Oh My Goodness!

Oh My Goodness!

I threw the hoop and Mani Lou brought it back to me!

I threw the hoop and Mani Lou brought it back to me!

Then, I got to scritch her under her chin.  Well, her throat.  Do dolphins have a chin?

Then, I got to scritch her under her chin. Well, her throat. Do dolphins have a chin?

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.

Pretty snazzy looking armbands, huh?

Pretty snazzy looking armbands, huh?

This was truly one of the most fun things I’ve done here in Dubai.

This is what we look like right after we played with the Mani Lou!

This is what we look like right after we played with the Mani Lou!

Bucket List:

Swim with Dolphins – check.

10 responses »

  1. You are so brave to do that. Don’t think I could have done that—-I am sort of afraid of sea things. Age does make a difference I think , maybe not—. I am so glad you are enjoying it all. Love you.

    • Shoot, Jeanie – if you’d have seen some of the children and how much fun they were having, those fears would have been out the window, I’ll bet….. it truly was fun. I was a teeny bit taken aback by how *big* she was at the beginning, though. Thanks for taking time to comment……

  2. It looked like you and TBG had a Fabulous time! I think Mani Lou was quite enthralled with you both too. Cat would be so proud! LOL!

    • LOL… I know, there were MANY moments when I was thinking of our Cat, and how she got to have these sort of experiences on a daily basis and had the nerve to call it “work”…. mercy.

  3. Hi DebbieT

    When you visited the Dolphin bay and The Lost Chambers, do you manage to see a big part of The Atlantis or is it quite restricted in terms of viewing The Atlantis itself?

    Great post you and TBG look very happy.

    Thanks
    Kelly

    • We did see a good bit of the Atlantis….. the shopping area and restaurants in particular. We entered from the backside of the Atlantis both times, once we used valet parking and once we took the monorail. It’s quite a lovely resort… are you planning a visit??

  4. Debbie, I have enjoyed this blog entry. Do they give you wet suits or do you have to bring something? Do they take professional pictures or did you have to bring a waterproof camera? Thank you so much for your knowledge. Angela

    • Angela – so happy you enjoyed it. Yes, they provide you with wetsuits – there are a myriad of sizes, and you can choose some options as well – vest, sleeves, long, short….. The official “wet suit hander outter” is great at sizing, and there are dressing rooms nearby. And, no cameras are allowed in the water, or on the beach. The photos you see are professionally-taken, and I cringed at the cost. But, once-in-a-lifetime, I told myself. Don’t forget to check out the voucher-discount book The Entertainer to see if they have any offers for this attraction, you never know!

      • Thank you so much Debbie! Where can I pick up The Entertainer? Thanks…oh, and how much is each picture??? The three of us are going to do the Royal swim….I suppose I am in for a one thousand dollar experience! LOL

  5. The Entertainer is available at most all bookstores, larger grocery stores or hypermarkets. You can also buy one and have it delivered directly to your hotel! https://www.theentertainerme.com/ There’s also an app you can buy and download to your phone. I don’t know if the photos are available individually – we simply chose how much money we were willing to spend and filled it up with photos. Truly an amazing experience.

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