I had never really had the urge to swim with dolphins in the past, but that’s probably because I don’t often travel to tropical beach destinations.
With little to no expectations, I arrived at Ocean World in Puerto Plata with an open mind and sense of adventure.
I started my day by swimming with sharks and stingrays, and then watching the dolphin show which included some pretty awesome tricks with the trainers. I’ve never seen a human body flipped so high into the air.
Finally, it was my turn to get into the open water. I suited up and jumped in.
The swim started with some fairly simple tricks. I met my dolphin, we hugged, we danced, I gave an awkward smile for the camera and a great time was enjoyed by all.
Then things started to get a little more serious. I swam out into the middle of the water and suddenly felt the noses of two dolphins pushing into the soles of my feet.
I began to move forward, lifting up out of the water.
Everything was going great.. until my swimsuit bottoms decided they weren’t going to stay up any more.
They dropped to my knees and suddenly I found myself standing, half naked, on the noses of a couple of dolphins.
I burst out laughing and dove back into the water as my dolphins disappeared beneath the surface.
Luckily, there was such a large wave around us that no one saw anything and I didn’t have to skulk away in mortification.
Next, I was supposed to hitch a ride on the dolphin’s fins, but I informed my trainer than I would be doing no such thing. I wasn’t risking another aquatic exposure.
My trainer laughed, once again ensuring me that no one saw anything, but suggesting that I cross my legs. So, I did.
Pro Tip, Ladies : If you’re wearing an ill-fitting bikini while swimming with dolphins, cross your legs!
My dolphins taxied me around the water at full speed and my bottoms stayed on the whole time. Wish I had known this before.
Finally, it was finale time. I was instructed to swim out into the middle of the water and to create a “V” shape in the air, with my arms.
The next thing I knew, there was a dolphin flying meters above my head, seemingly in slow motion, and casting a trail of ocean water in the arch of a rainbow.
Everyone cheered and I swam back to the dock with a smile.
In the end, I finally understood why everyone posted their little dolphin-hugging photos after their sunny beach vacations.
Where I previously scoffed at the monotony of the typical tourist holiday, I will now fondly remember my own time with the friendly and acrobatic aquatic mammals.