Florida Guide > Other Parks
Swimming with Dolphins
SWIMMIMG WITH DOLPHINS
Something that is becoming increasingly popular over the years is Swimming with Dolphins. The main place in Orlando is Discovery Cove , where you can spend the day in a unique park and there is an organised swim. This is a nice way to spend a day and there are lots of other things to do including touching the enormous rays, and snorkelling.
The other way to do this is to combine the swim with a trip down to the Keys, Key Largo has it’s own Dolphin centre where sick, or injured Dolphins are taken for rehabilitation, but also where you can book to swim with them.
Before you are allowed to do this a one hour instruction lesson is carried out , this is important for the safety of the people who swim with the Dolphins and also to the Dolphins themselves. It is very important that you know how to act and respond with these intelligent creatures , they do not like sudden movements and there are certain things that you are told not to do while in the water with them. One of the things you are told is to be particularly careful around their eyes.
You are provided with inflatable life jackets as the water is quite deep (and colder than the pool at the villa) usually around 75 – 85 depending on the time of year.
Bottle nosed Dolphins are the ones that are there, these magnificent creatures can weigh anything up to 275 kilo’s and live to up to 50 years. They are trained to respond to whistles and clicks and have a very strong bond with their trainers, who reward them constantly with fish.
Unlike some of the shows that you see in parks like Seaworld these Dolphins are not made to do anything that they do not want to do. They will play with you and perform certain things like pushing you around with their noses on your feet , or pulling you by you holding on to their dorsal fins. They will also shake hands and jump over poles on occasions but only if they want to and are happy to do so.
This “hands on“ experience is an extremely wonderful one and I was is total awe of them from the moment I got into the water. To actually touch them and interact with them is an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life and I feel very privileged to have been able to do it.
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Page added on: 29 July 2005
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