Posted in coco, column, travel

Dolphins make me cry

First of all, something you don’t know about me yet: I’m afraid of fish. I’m not just afraid, I really don’t like them, dead or alive. If you want me to eat fish, just make absolutely sure it doesn’t look like one!

So when my travel buddy told me she really wanted to swim with dolphins, my first response was not overenthusiastic. But okay, we were in Florida, wanted to see the Keys and a dolphin is not a fish, it’s a mammal. So I said yes. There are several organizations in the Keys, offering swimming with dolphins and while reading their websites, you do get a weird feeling about animals being kept to swim with tourists. So we looked around a little longer and found an organization, which has disabled kids swim with the dolphins as some kind of therapy. They only have one or two slots a day for tourists, just to finance their therapy sessions. So we paid a little more, just to ease our minds.

When we got to the Keys I felt pretty good. I’m gonna swim with dolphins, I’m so cool. Even when we got to the right place and saw the dolphins, I was still doing fine. First we got a small lecture about what the organization was about, what was going to happen and what we were allowed/supposed to do and what not. I listened very carefully. And then the girl telling us all that, wanted to be funny. ‘Of course there will be other fish in the waters as well, it’s not a pool. Funny is when people get scared when I say that, because they came here to swim with dolphins.’ Why? Why did she have to say that? Now all I could think about the other stupid fish swimming around my legs and the water was dark, I won’t be able to see them. I will imagine them there and probably feel them. I’m gonna be sick!

My travel buddy went first. That way I could take pictures of her with the dolphins as she could take pictures of me afterwards. Seeing her and the other people in the water and how sweet the dolphins were, I did relax again. It was gonna be fine. So I got in the water and got to know the three dolphins swimming with me and two other people. They were mommy, daddy and a kiddy dolphin (which was almost as big as his parents). The kiddy could get a little wild, but his parents would tell him of. So there I was. In the water, which tasted like fish (yuck). Fortunately I was so focused on the dolphins, that I really didn’t think about other fish in the water. There was only one moment in the water I almost freaked out. I was laying there, waiting for one of the dolphins to push me forward at my feet. When the dolphins go underwater, you couldn’t see them anymore and of course, right at that moment, I heard the tune of the movie Jaws. Only in my head and only for a split second. But that is what my mind does, it messes with me.

But hey, what can I say. I did it and I’m really proud I did. I swam with dolphins!

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