14 June 2009

Swimming with a Dolphin

I had one of the best experiences of my life last summer in the Bahamas. I got to swim with a dolphin. They seem to be the happiest creatures in the world with the delightful expression they have. Before you get in with the dolphins, you sit on a dock that's built around the lagoon while the trainers give you info and the first thing they tell you is not to wave at the dolphins or do anything with your hands as many hand gestures are signals to the dolphins to do tricks and this could confuse them.

After the dolphins (always in pairs) do some tricks in deeper water outside the lagoon (like standing on their tails and doing triple flips), you get in the lagoon with a trainer and the dolphin. When you ask the trainer questions about the dolphin, they're giving the dolphin signals on whether to shake it's head "yes" or "no", spray you with water or give it's high squeal or click sound as an answer.

Dolphins have a funny feel. When you touch them, they feel firm but rubbery. You can touch all their fins and flippers and rub their backs and stomachs. The trainer has the dolphin open it's mouth so you can feel the teeth which have large spaces between them as dolphins nurse for a long period of time after birth and the wide-spaced teeth keep them from biting the mother.

They are extremely gently to be with and when you leave the lagoon, they kiss your cheek and wave "bye" with their flipper. I really felt sad that my experience was over but what I memeory I have of a fabulous time!