Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dancing with Dolphins in Nassau

Collin’s Ten-Year-Old Trip
Disney Cruise Day 2:  Monday, June 17, 2013

When we woke up this morning, our Disney Dream was docking in Nassau, the Bahamas.  It was Collin’s first visit to a foreign country!

The highlight of the day was our field trip to Blue Lagoon Dolphin Encounters, where Collin and Granddad spent an hour swimming and doing tricks with dolphins. (There were only two available spots, so Grandma Gayl volunteered to be the observer/photographer.)

Granddad and Collin were in a group of ten people swimming and playing with two dolphins--Anty V and Soca, who we learned is pregnant.   They learned lots of other facts about dolphins, too--they can jump up to 25 feet in the air,  and they have 70-105 teeth, which they use to grab their prey, but not to chew, since they swallow their food whole.  You can tell a dolphin’s age by counting the rings in their teeth, like a tree trunk.
Both Collin and Granddad had the same favorite experience.  It was when they laid flat on the water with their legs slightly apart, and two dolphins each put their snout against the soles of their feet and pushed them very quickly across the lagoon--so fast that they rose out of the water on a big bow wake!

They also danced with the dolphins--holding them by their pectoral fins and shaking while the trainers sang “Macho Macho Man.”

The dolphins kissed them on the cheek, and they shared two very long kisses on the lips with them, too.  

Granddad and Collin each took a fish from their dolphin’s mouth, and fed the dolphin a fish.  Granddad and Collin each took a fish from their dolphin’s mouth, and fed the dolphin a fish.  Collin says “If you didn’t cooperate, the dolphins would splash you in the face with salt water, then they would make you do it the right way.  They smelled a little fishy, not bad, but definitely fishy. They had fish breath.” (No surprise--Grandma Gayl had a prime spot right by the trainer, and she got to watch how they returned to him after every trick to be rewarded with a big dead fish.)

Collin and Granddad spun in circles with the dolphins, and gave them big hugs.  There were many opportunities to pet the dolphins on their back and sides as they swam by.  Collin says that the skin of a dolphin feels rubbery and a little tough, and not at all slippery. 

The dolphins showed off their jumping skills and did other tricks, like waving goodbye to us with their tails.  The dolphins were very playful--they splashed water and spit water on both Collin and Granddad, and they had many vocalizations, including a very funny loud raspberry sound.

Our dinner continued the sea life theme of our day.  We ate in the Animator’s Palate restaurant, where the walls are lined with what look at first like drawings of animated marine characters, but as dinner began the drawings came to life, and it felt as though our restaurant was submerged within an animated aquarium filled with the characters from “Finding Nemo” swimming all around the restaurant.

Then Crush, the talking turtle, began interacting with the diners--calling out to someone at a table and making jokes about things happening in the dining room.  His best line was when a baby’s high pitched squealing interrupted his conversation with a big kid, and the turtle said, “Oh, I see someone out there is speaking dolphin.”  Everyone who had a Dolphin Encounter laughed uproariously.

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