First up, for all of you who noticed I had vanished off the blog planet without a trace, I apologise for not giving you a heads up. I have been overseas in Dubai for the past 3 weeks indulging in a much overdue and needed holiday with family and friends. I absolutely enjoyed every moment spent with my loved ones.
I happened to also spend my birthday there and my hubby treated me with an experience of a life time.
I got to indulge with a dolphin encounter at Atlantis. It cost a fortune but it was worth every cent.
I was blown away with the very well set up dolphin program.
Before we got to meet the dolphins, everyone had to sit in for a 45 minute interactive educational session about dolphins. Alejandro, one of the dolphin trainers, did an excellent job at handling the session. I actually learnt a few new facts about dolphins that I was not aware of namely:
- We commonly assume dolphins blow water out of their blowhole. That is incorrect, they can only blow air out of it. The water that appears to come out of their blowholes is simply water that has accumulated on the surface surrounding the blowhole and been blasted with the air pressure.
- Dolphins can control their breathing and must deliberately surface and open their blowholes to get air.
- Dolphins all have unique fins that make them quite distinguishable from each other.
Alejandro then thoroughly discussed exactly how we will be working with the dolphins and divided us into different groups. They only use positive reinforcement strategies in training all the dolphins.
My dolphin was named ‘Central’ and she was a 6 year old Bottlenose dolphin.
This wasn’t the first time I have met a dolphin. I was lucky to be randomly picked out of a group at Sentosa beach in Singapore 5-6 years ago to pat a pink dolphin. I don’t recall too much information being provided about the dolphins and I wasn’t given any real training tips prior to touching it. I simply recall being taken aback by the sheer size of the pink dolphin. However, it was disappointing that I didn’t gain any information about them from that experience.
As for my current experience, I came away learning so much more about dolphins. Our group consisted of 8 people (5 adults & 3 young children) and 2 trainers were assigned to each group. We were given very detailed instructions which we all followed very carefully.
For starters, we all had to put our hands out for ‘Central’ to come and meet us. She gently approached us and allowed us to pat her.
We then got to individually snuggle up to her and kiss her if we wanted and a professional photographer captured the images. It felt surreal looking into Central’s eyes. She was absolutely beautiful. 🙂
Needless to say, we had a very intimate moment. My husband actually felt a pinch of jealousy watching us share our first kiss.
I mean how often can you say, you snuggled up to a dolphin?!?
I was even instructed to splash ‘Central’ and she fought back.
I even got to dance with ‘Central’.
‘Central’ bid us farewell while showing off her agility skills.
‘Central’ was so beautiful and responded instantly to her commands. There was only one incident whereby one of the group members didn’t appropriately implement the command to dance with her & ‘Central’ turned away and left her. I was quite impressed with her high level of training and her ability to allow so many different people of variable ages to get so close to her.
I was yelling out ‘Good girl’ and smiling ear to ear during the whole event.
I think the above pictures clearly reflects the exquisite nature of my dolphin encounter.
I left Dubai with a heavy heart because I had to say goodbye to my family and closest friends. I won’t be seeing most of them for another year or so.
On the bright side, I feel well rejuvenated and am happy to be back amongst my colleagues and Aussie mates and most importantly my fur babies and patients. We are moving into our much anticipated purpose-built new clinic in the next month, so that’s pretty exciting!
I have compiled many interesting cases and can’t wait to share them with you over the next few weeks.
Are you ready for all these mind boggling cases?