Monday, May 25, 2009
Swim With Dolphins Cancun!
We had a such a lovely treat this weekend! We were lucky and got some passes to Delphinus at Dreams Cancun, a chance to kiss a dolphin is always good for me, fish breath and all. (The dolphin of course, no fishy breath for Canuck!)
We arrived at Dreams at about 2:30 and were greeted and checked in by the kindly Sergio. Our swim was scheduled for 3:00 and we didn't have to wait long before our hostess Mariana came to bring us to the holding area and give us our life jackets. I'm always impressed by the relaxed good nature of the employees and their ability to switch easily from English to Spanish while talking to the variety of guests. Mariana gave us information about the animals and the program and instructions for each of the activities we were going to do with the dolphins. No touching their face or blow holes, take off all jewelry in order not to scratch their skin, be gentle with their fins, etc, etc.. We had a very small group, only six adults and Max, a mix of Mexican locals, a New "Yawker" and his Argentinian wife and us. Spanglish abounded! Our trainer Carlos came to greet us and got us right into the enclosure.
Max was a little freaked out at first, but quickly became enamored with the beautiful creatures swimming around him. I was so pleased to see him following the instructions, he reminded me several times not to touch the dolphins face and he was ever so gentle with them. We sang and danced with the dolphins, stroked their lovely pink bellies, had them jump over our heads, give us a kiss (and yes, we kissed them back!), got a hug and best of all we got to do the "foot push". Such a unique feeling! Each person goes to the center of the pool, lays on their belly with their legs apart. Suddenly two little dolphin noses are pushing the bottoms of your feet, forcing your forward, flying through the water, arms up, head held high! I love that moment (and I'll admit to being a show off, all my dance training got me RIGHT UP out of the water and in a backbend, oh how I wish you could see the video!) Ok, enough bragging, teehee. Max did it all, except he told me that he was too small to do the foot push and that he would do it "next time when I'm bigger". Cool beans kid, not going to force you to do it and good for you for recognizing your limits!
The swim lasts about 50 minutes, lots of time for interaction with the dolphins and lots of laughs and smiles all around. The trainers quite obviously love their animals, they are treated very well, almost like babies! In all my years living here I have met many dolphin trainers and they are all very similar. They are truly devoted to caring for these animals and making sure they are loved. I noticed that one of the dolphins didn't want to play and he simply swam away, there was no force involved, he wanted a break, he took a break, that made me happy. I remember speaking to a trainer right after Hurricane Wilma and asking them about their experience. They had spent the entire storm with the dolphins, trying to calm them, ensuring they didn't get injured and putting the animals' needs before their own. While I know that not every facility in the world has such fine care, I have only witnessed love and respect from the trainers in Quintana Roo.
If you've got a trip coming up and are interested in swimming with the dolphins in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, check out Delphinus, they're offering discounts and free transportation. They have several facilities throughout the region, Dreams Cancun, Xelha, Xcaret, Riviera Maya and Costa Maya. Combine your eco park adventure with an unforgettable experience with these magnificent creatures!
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