There aren't many things that beat seeing dolphins in the flesh for the first time. After queuing for rides and keeping warm in the torrential rain by hiding in the lazy river at Adventure Cove Waterpark, it was 3.30pm.
It was time to interact with the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.
The staff, who have seen about a gazillion excited guests, were nice and understanding as they ushered us to to put on our wetsuits and rib-cage-crushing life-vests. I exaggerate, but it made me feel like an ancient Roman warrior wearing an armour. I felt buff.
After outlining the dos and don'ts, the trainers split us into groups of 4-5. The dolphins were curious as we walked by, swimming close to the edge of the pool.
Our trainer took great care to introduce us slowly to the dolphin, for her to get used to us and for us to get used to her. She was huge, smooth (apparently they exfoliate every two hours), powerful and gentle.
If I were to name an animal closest to her personality it would be that of a dog. She would be a huge sea dog.
We took turns to interact with her individually, doing tricks, from which we got to witness how dolphins communicate, how they move, how they eat. It was a very personal experience. Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.
|Two dolphins powering WK|
The only thing that annoyed me was that the photographers weren't very professional. Our trainer had to get his attention. You weren't allowed cameras in there and the prints and digital copies came at an exorbitant price. For that amount of money, I expected way, way better.
When I was making the booking a couple of weeks prior, the number of programmes that I had to choose from literally made my head spin. The one I've written about here is the Dolphin Adventure ($128), which allows you to experience all these, and lasts for about 50 mins.
The package also includes a one-day pass to Adventure Cove Waterpark, which was pretty fun (except for the queues which were still too long IMO).
It was raining like crazy that day, and at times, downright freezing, but the low visibility, and how everything became more slippery made the rides more thrilling. Win-win.
Was a pretty memorable one-time experience hanging out with the cool kids of the sea, and a great way to kick off 2016!