I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It
Posted 10 July, 09on:
She did not taste like Cherry Chapstick, more salty. She was a seventeen year old Mexican girl… girl dolphin, that is. (and you were starting to think all kinds of things about me, weren’t you?) We have been on many vacations with the “swim with dolphins” option. It was always so expensive and I suspected actual dolphin interaction time would be very limited. Hubski finally talked me into it on this vacation to Cozumel. Okay, the guy from the hotel helped by finding us a great deal. The struggling economy and swine flu has made the Mexican tourism industry ready to make deep discounts.
The dolphin swim was, by far, the best part of the whole trip. By. Far. A fellow guest at the hotel suggested that we get an early reservation to avoid the “cruise ship” crowd. It worked. Our group ended up being just the four of us. We did not have to share our forty-five minutes in the dolphin tank with anyone else.
We did some tricks with the dolphins, like getting a kiss, and we also had time to simply swim around the tank with the dolphins. They are beautiful, fantastic creatures. One of the dolphins recently gave birth. Her baby was in the tank, but we were not allowed to touch her. We did not want to make Mamasita fret. It was not a problem because the baby kept her distance and Mamasita kept a watchful eye. However, it was a treat to see the mother and baby interacting.
During the belly ride, we got a little taste of just how powerful dolphins are, as well as a big taste of salt water. The tank was fairly small, but the dolphins managed to pick up speed very quickly as they took us for a ride. It was such a forceful ride that the bottom of my suit almost came off! Of course, the staff took photos and a video of our dolphin experience. Since we were the only ones in the video, how could we not buy it?
As much as I enjoy seeing animals up close at zoos and aquariums, a part of me hates seeing animals caged and confined. I understand that these venues allow people to learn about animals, grow to care about them, perhaps care about them enough to make donations toward the protection of animals. The caged animals are ambassadors, against their will, but still serving towards the greater good. At touch tanks and petting areas, I worry about the safety and stress levels of the animals. This is a big reason why I have been so reluctant to swim with the dolphins. These folks seemed very concerned about protecting the dolphins. The facility is gorgeous, from a dolphin point of view. A dolphin never “works” two sessions in a row, and no more than three sessions a day. While we were waiting for our video and photos to be processed, we watched “our” dolphins being moved to a much larger tank where they were given lots of toys, like balls and rings. They were allowed to just swim and be regular dolphins. The tanks are all interconnected to the open ocean so they are part of the natural seawater. Little fish even wander in through the grid work. For captivity, it felt very natural.