Saturday, 30 June 2012

I met the love of my life ... Gracie!!

As it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, my parents had sent over some money so that I could do something special to celebrate it. I had previously seen a sign at this resort called Anthony’s Key, which advertised 3 different types of interactions with their own trained pod of dolphins!!!  So it panned out that Ally and I both really wanted to swim with dolphins and so we booked in to do their Dolphin Snorkel which included a half hour interaction session where you had an instructor introduce you to the dolphin, our’s was called Gracie, who was a 22 year old mother and she was massive! The cutest thing I have ever seen ... ever!! Anyway, this session included the trainer getting her to do a few tricks for us and then having her come up to us so we could touch and pet her. OMG!! This was like a dream come true!! I could not believe that I was actually doing this. It was just so amazing, seeing the dolphins enjoying playing with us as much as we were enjoying her company. They feel pretty much exactly as you would imagine them to, really dense, smooth and kind of warm-ish. So our instructor was telling us all about the dolphins and and we were learning loads about them and about all of the other dolphins they have here and the resort, all the while he was leading Gracie up and down the line of people in our group, whilst everyone was stroking and petting her, living their life’s dream. Omg I would actually kill someone (well maybe not, but you get my drift) for their job. To spend all day everyday with a pod of 40 or more dolphins would be amazing, and maybe even possible! Our instructor did a degree in business, then tried this job on a whim and the owners let him stay on because he got on well with the dolphins! Umm ... screw Magazine publishine, Hello Dolphin Training!!
Moving on, in total there was about 30 people doing the interaction session, and we were all divided up into groups of 6 or 8 and had our own instructor, however most of those people left after the initial interaction session as that is all that they had paid for. That left about 8 of us to do the next section which was a free snorkel in the dolphin’s pen, all the while being surrounded by a pod of about 20 dolphins. To begin with we were just swimming around and couldn’t see many as the water was quite murky and we were told that the dolphins were their but that they were judging us first. So I was swimming around for a while and then decided to go over and join Ally in one of the corners, as soon as I got there we saw about 3 dolphins come out of the gloom towards us and they just played around with us, swimming next to us and bumping into our hands as we held them out to play with them. At one point about 7 dolphins were just swimming around Ally and I, it was scary at times, but also an absolute adrenaline rush. At one point, this mother and calf came swimming up to us and slowed down around us, if I thought Gracie was cute, my word the baby one was so much cuter! We had been warned that the dolphins are very perceptive, so that if they see you flinch when they come at you, they will keep doing it as it makes them ‘laugh’, so it was quite hard not to flinch as they open their mouths to try and bite you playfully (like a puppy does) but it was reassuring to find out that their teeth didn’t hurt at all, as Ally tells me. Anyway, that half hour of snorkeling with the dolphins was one of the greatest half hours of my life (I know I haven’t lived my whole life yet, but I am pretty certain it will remain near the top, if not at the top!) If anyone, ever gets the chance to swim with these majestic creatures, please do! You will love it, even if you are not a swimmer! You will have such a great time, that I can guarantee.
Well, now you know how much I loved it, and that I had probably the best birthday present I have ever been given (Thanks Mum and Dad!). We also got some pictures taken by the on-site professional photographer (she takes pics of everyone) and I will include these below, hope you enjoy them! The one of us two and Gracie is now my background on my laptop and I smile every time I see it, no jokes!
Till Next Time,


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