Thanks for all the comments on my last post. This is another quick one (no photos yet I am afraid) to say how I have been getting on.
Today was our trip to Discovery Cove (which Andy meant to surprise me with at Christmas, but then as our flight got cancelled etc etc it was no longer a surprise). I had no idea what to expect but it was amazing! Here is a (hopefully) quick run-down. And please excuse any typos because I can only see half of what I type.
We arrived just after 8am for “check in”. Here we were given ID tags and a map, and told the time of our dolphin swim. Then we went to have breakfast (all food and drink are included in the day)- a massive choice for meat eaters, but not much veggie stuff, but anyway. Then we changed into our swim stuff and picked up our wet-suit vest things. You also get given special suncream to wear which is safe to use with the animals. There was lots to see and do- we went in the lazy river first (which I much preferred to Disney lazy rivers as you could actually swim in them instead of lying in those rubber ring things). At one point it went through an aviary and we could see loads of pretty birds by the water. Then we got some goggles (Andy used the snorkle but I had breathing through the tube like that) and went into the lagoon pool. This was cold (at first) and salty, and filled with beautiful tropical fish and also massive sting rays! At first I was a little freaked out by the fish swimming right by me, but once I realised they would not touch you I was fine. We must have spent over an hour in that place alone. Then we went for a little walk (Andy took some photos) and we went into the aviary to see the birds. I was most excited to see a kookaburra.
Then it was time for the dolphin encounter. We had to have a little talk first, the we waded into the dolphin lagoon with a trainer, and it was just amazing. We all got to do the hand signals to encourage the dolphin to wave, spin, splash etc. The dolphin had a baby who was about 2 years old, which kept swimming near and copying what his mum was doing which was also so sweet. We got to feed the dolphin fish, and stroke her (and they also made us kiss her for a photo op, which I thought was a little weird but anyway). Then we swum out to the deep part and had a dolphin tow back to shore! Exciting! While other people were having their turns the trainers were talking to us and showing us hand signals and things. Then a lot of dolphins came from all around the cove and leapt up in the air all together, and swum around together a bit. It lasted about 45 mins I think, but it went by so quickly! I was excited about it, but also a little apprehensive as I had no idea what to expect. I also thought it might end up being a bit of a queue- touch the dolphin one after another, but it was nothing like that at all. We were always told to move out of their way, and it really was us going into their space- if they didn’t want to do something they would swim away, stuff like that.
Anyway, after that it was time for lunch (I think it was gone 2pm by then). The veggie option was pasta with tomato sauce, but again loads of meat choices. There were also pots of roasted veggies, different salads (lucky I checked as they had bacon bits on them!), fries, fruit, and all sorts of cakes. I had some roasted veggies (with the pasta), fruit and Andy and I shared some carrot cake- we did not want to have too much as we wanted to swim some more in the afternoon. While we ate lunch a steel pan band started playing which was great.
We decided to buy a CD of our photos- we never normally buy those photos at all, and it was really expensive, but we figured that we could print one out, or put them on our calendar and stuff. (But our netbook does not have a CD drive, otherwise I would be loading them up right now!). So something for you all to look forward to 😉
We sat in the shade for a bit, before one last long swim in the ray lagoon. Then I went for a shower (and in the showers there were massive pump bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, plus hairdryers and stacks of towels to use), and then it was time to come back. It shuts at 5pm, although we were there a little after that.
Anyway, it was a brilliant day- busy but relaxed. The park was lovely as it was not very crowded and really everything you needed was there.
So there you go for the little update 🙂 We are off to Disney tomorrow for a few days.
Would you like to swim with dolphins? Or have you done something like that?