Jumping dolphins

Friday 3rd January 2020

Good morning!
Today was the day I was most hyped for. Since a friend of mine talked to me and said that if we went to the Keys, we should swim with dolphins I tried to find a way to plan our trip to go there. After breakfast we went to the Dolphin Plus Bayside at Key Largo. There was another nice place where you could swim with dolphins, but it was at Marathon and that was about a 30 minutes car drive and the other one was at our island. Getting there and checking-in was very easy. We bought our tickets at the evening before and my parents and my little sister had only to pay the visitor entrance there. After putting on my swim clothes we had a briefing where a woman talked about dolphins, their natural habitat, ocean pollution and things that are not allowed doing with dolphins. Then we had the opportunity to put a wetsuit on and I did it. Then 15 minutes later we could enter the water and there was also a woman which took photos with a camera. I had also a GoPro at my wrist but it was more to take nice shots from the dolphins and the photos from the photographer complement each other very well. My father made also pictures and they were good, but my father wasn’t allowed to go on the landing stage to make good photos and he could only make the photos from a huge distance. Outside the water you could also make nice photos of the dolphins because they “posed” in front of the cameras and the people. Entering there was easy because the water was warm. The whole time in the water was a lot fun. The dolphin trainer said what we should do, and it was awesome. At first, we could stroke the dolphin and touch their backs. The backs felt a bit like plastic and hard rubber, and they were slippery. It was my first time touching a dolphin and I had only seen them once or twice at SeaWorld or zoos. Then we rubbed them their bellies and the I think they were nicer and also a bit fluffier than the backs. After that we should swim to the middle of the water and we should lay us on our backs and stretch our legs. Then happened something unexpected. The dolphins pushed us with their mouths to the end of the lagoon and it was fast. Another interesting thing was how fast the dolphins swam in the water. I could see that very good because every time they did something well, they swam to the trainer to get some fish. Then the trainer gave the dolphins a long plastic pole and they brought it to us. Then we should hold the pole and then we got amazed. We were also surprised because we thought that the dolphins would jump from the front but they came from behind us and jumped 3 times over this pole. They jumped very high like one or two meters and they also made funny sounds. The trainer had a whistle where she could make a sound on a very high frequency and nearly every time, she blew the whistle the dolphins came. You must keep in mind that they also have an own brain and an own mindset and sometimes they found something more interesting than this whistle. After jumping over the pole, we stayed in the back part of the water. We (my sister Raquel and I) should hold at the inner fin of the dolphins or on both. First my sister did this, and she did it very well. Then it was my turn and because at the left dolphin I only saw the left fin (the outer fin) and the left fin from the right dolphin they pulled me nearly the whole distance but I could do it another time because I did it wrong and I also put my GoPro off my wrist because one of the dolphins got distracted. Then the second attempt was very nice I made a big “T” with my arms and my body and then the dolphins came to me and I had only to hold their fins on the back and then they pulled me very fast. The last thing we did was that we mad a water war with the dolphins and it was very funny. The dolphins splashed also water on us, and it was very nice. In conclusion I can say that although it costs 210$ and if you want the pictures it costs 90$ more. I can say that it was totally worth the money. We were about 20 – 30 minutes in the water and it was the closest interacting with dolphins that is possible. I can only recommend the Dolphin Plus at Key Largo because they make a competent job while the stay with us, our briefing and how they treat the dolphins.

After this lifetime experience, we drove to Florida City where we had a very nice hotel and jumped into the pool. The pool was very cold, and we only stayed there 10 minutes. Then we ate at the hotel restaurant and the food was good but after this day Raquel (my little sister ) and I felt asleep very, very fast.

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