Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hawaii Day 1 (Thursday) - Sea Life Park

Our first full day on the island was my absolute favorite. We did something I'd been wanting to do for a very long time: swim with the dolphins. It was incredible. We did this at Sea Life park on the eastern coast of the island. The setting is quite lovely as part of the park looks out over the ocean as you can see from the photos. They offer a few different ways you can interact with the dolphins and last time I was there, 5 years ago for high school graduation, my Aunt Lisa and I just did the option where we touched them, did a quick photo and that was about it. Not this time around! We actually got to get in the water with them, touch and swim with them. We both got to do a dorsal fin tow and a foot push. If I could figure out how to upload the video we bought here I would, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
We were the first couple to go, I think there were 6 couples, which was a bit scary as we didn't have any demonstration of what we were to do. So Andrew went to one side and I went to the other. I was told to stand like a T, arms out and feet down. The trainer gave the dolphins their command and here they came, one on each side. Next thing I knew I could feel their bodies running under my hands until their fins hooked and off we went. It was incredible! Andrew was next and what he was told to do was lay in the water, arms and legs out in front and behind him. Then they were off and one was pushing on either of his feet propelling him up and out of the water for a distance. Then we switched. Incredible.
After our swims and everyone went we got to have our photos taken with them. Two are above. I haven't scanned them yet so you are seeing a picture of a picture, but they are still pretty cool I think. I have a frame with two side by side 5x7s that I think I'm going to put them in.
I am so glad we did that package. It was possibly the most memorable experience of my life thus far. I'm telling you, if I could have afforded it and it wasn't so far from Waikiki I would have gone back to do it again everyday we were there.
Oh, there were also sea turtles, seals and that sort of thing, but I'm thinking you can probably guess where my camera was aimed most of the time! Andrew also had his surfing lesson that day, but I don't have the photos for that on my computer yet. I'll be doing a Day 1, Part 2 continuation sometime later this week.