Dolphin Swim Adventure: Love at First Belly Ride
From the moment we arrived at Marina Aquatours in Cancun for our day of adventure at Dolphin Discovery Isla Mujeres, my guys were simply quite giddy. Full of energy and bouncing around the docks, pointing out fishies and eager to board the ferry. I was pretty excited myself, swimming with dolphins with my beau the first-timer and sharing the swim adventure with my now “big boy” son. My job has given me the good fortune to swim with dolphins many times, but it never loses the thrill and it’s always a joy to watch the faces of those meeting dolphin friends for the first time.
The ferry ride through the lagoon was spent teaching my son about conservation of the mangroves and enjoying a light breakfast and lots of coffee. I could feel the sense of excitement from the tourists, listening to the buzz of their conversations in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian, a very international group of visitors all about to live a dream. When the ferry went under the bridge and past the pirate ships, there was a collective gasp as we entered the crystal turquoise-coloured waters that still take my breath away even after almost a decade of living in Cancun.
We arrived on Isla Mujeres and there they were, the gorgeous dolphins greeting guests with high-flying leaps and casual swim-bys. For once I wasn’t looking at them, I was watching the face of my guy as he saw them for the very first time. Eyes wide, jaw dropped, a look of pure awe, his adult face lit up like a kid at Christmas. My son was leaping almost as high as the dolphins, this was not his first time at Dolphin Discovery and he considers himself an expert, but it sure didn’t curb his excitement.
We got our lockers, donned our life-jackets, listened attentively to the orientation and then it was time for the main event. We walked past the funny sea lions, alongside the manatee area, waved to the newborn dolphin and her mama Olimpia and on to our spot on the dock. Our fabulously friendly and knowledgeable trainer introduced us to our dolphins, handsome Jupiter and the beautiful Madonna who was 5 months pregnant! We said hello, stroked their smooth skin as they swam by, danced with them, played a little ball and shared a fishy kiss. For my beau who was doing this first for the first time, it was a phenomenal occasion, his face lit up, eyes aglow and a gigantic smile on his face. My son was giggling, speaking to the dolphins in baby-talk and asking a million questions to the trainer.
Then came the adrenaline, the big moves, the ACTION! My little guy had done the dolphin encounter many times, but he was finally ready to do the “big kid” swim adventure with the belly ride and the boogie push. We helped him swim out, gave him clear instructions on what to do and then watched him fly through the water on the boogie board being propelled by the dolphins, smile so wide he could have swallowed half the ocean! The guests in our group laughed and applauded for him, such a little guy and such a big adventure. My beau was simply over the moon, watching him do the belly ride was my favourite moment of the day, flying through the water and laughing all the way.
We said our goodbyes to Jupiter and Madonna (wishing her well with her upcoming baby) and made our way out of the water. It was a spectacular day for all of us, my beau lived a dream, my son became a “big kid” and I had the joy of sharing my love for dolphins with them both.