title:Swimming With Dolphins
Ever since I can remember, my love affair with dolphins has always been a restless force inside of me. As a child I was besotted with the intelligence and charm of “Flipper” in the TV series of the same name. And so, many years later, as an adult, having the opportunity to interact with these creatures one on one was indeed a dream come true.
Quite rightly, dolphins are vigorously protected by many laws which makes swimming with them in the wild an illegal activity. However, thanks to their conservation and education programmes throughout the world, Sea World has been granted special approval by USA government to give visitors to it’s parks a once in a lifetime opportunity to play with dolphins “up close and personal”.
One of the very best of these facilities is Discovery Cove, Florida. Discovery Cove is a sister park to Sea World, and they are in fact located just across the road from one another. However, Discovery Cove is an theme park like no other.
With daily admittance numbers strictly monitored, you will have to book well in advance, because your day at Discovery Cove is an adventure from beginning to end.
Once inside the park, you will be awed by the sheer scale and beauty of your surroundings.
Following a brief orientation, and a complimentary photograph, you are supplied with wet suits, snorkels and masks. Once kitted out, the day is yours to do with as you please.
You can swim with sting rays and other tropical fish, glide safely alongside real sharks, feed the exotic birds housed in a stunning free flight aviary, or simply relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine on pristine sandy beaches.
A tasty lunch is also included in your admission fee, and there is a great selection to choose from, including vegetarian options.
But without doubt, the highlight of your day will be the dolphin swim itself. For me, after dreaming of this event for so many years, I was almost breathless with anticipation, and I am delighted to report that I was not disappointed in any way.
My time spent, swimming and playing with my designated dolphin, named “Star” was the most magical experience of my life. I was truly amazed at the connection we had, and once you have looked close into a dolphin’s eyes and witnessed for yourself the intelligence, unique personality and endless sense of fun, your life will never be the same again.
Almost moved to tears by the sheer wonder of the experience, I have been drawn back to relive the experience on subsequent trips to Florida, and each time has been even more magical.
Although Discovery Cove is not suited to everyone’s pocket, if you want a truly life changing experience, I cannot recommend this adventure enough.
Copyright 2005 Chris Neilson