I have always wanted to swim with the dolphins, but I can’t support the operations who get their dolphins by way of the Japanese finning process. I’m told at Anthony’s Key, the dolphins are born there, but the first few had to come from somewhere. I don’t know anything about their science center operation and cannot judge, but since I didn’t know anything I also didn’t feel I could support it without researching. I do know that some of their dolphins swim free, and return because they feed them. I also know some are enclosed in the park, which is a fenced area in the bay.
But as I mentioned, I’d love to be up close and personal with a dolphin so at 6am I stuck my head in Cat’s and Danielle’s bedroom to see if they wanted to swim across the channel and go dolphin hunting through the fence. Being hardly awake, none of us were entirely enthusiastic and we sort of rolled over. But Cat was the cheerleader, and she and I decided to stroll down the beach, jump in from the end of the dock and swim across the channel to the dolphin pen.
I was concerned they might not come over right away or they wouldn’t be at the surface, and I’d have to be diving down with my snorkel. Not so, they were smart creatures! They were at the fence at chest level in a matter of seconds. They poked their noses through the fence, but if we weren’t quick to pet them they opened their mouths and snapped them closed for fish! We didn’t want our hands mistaken for breakfast, so we didn’t stay long, but it was fun to feel their rubbery skin and see their personalities from inches away, even if there was a barrier.
After our quick snorkel, we enjoyed a leisurely final morning at the hotel. It was actually calm and sunny, which was a first for our trip, yet uniquely when we took off from the airport it was raining and the forecast called for storms, so our cool overcast days turned out to be perfect. We had an awesome time with amazing diving experiences. While I’m sad to leave the beach, I’m to go back to no bugs! ETB