September 04, 2006

Photo Friday: Silver

fish_sky3.jpg
silver fish in the shark aquarium, Sea World, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel

I just returned from the most fabulous weekend in San Diego visiting my dear old friend Cindy and my dear new one Denise. As I flew over the ocean coming into the airport a crazy thought leapt into my head, "I want to swim with the dolphins!" the thought said. Not being a dolphin person particularly, I had never had this desire before... (it felt like a special request from the wee one that I'm carrying) So of course I had to find a way!

We looked online and sure enough Sea World San Diego has a program where small groups of regular folks like you and me can play with the dolphins. Miraculously, there were two appointments left for the Saturday afternoon before Labor Day. Go magic baby mojo!

We had a 30 minute classroom session where we learned about bottlenose dolphins and then we all got into wetsuits and into the water. There were four people and a trainer assigned to each dolphin so we had a lot of one on one time with "Purina." When the trainer introduced us, the dolphin immediately came straight up to me and put her nose on my belly. The trainer got a little freaked out and pulled her away... She said she probably knew I was pregnant and was curious, but didn't feel comfortable letting the dolphin get that close. As I type this entry, I googled dolphins and pregnancy and found this:

"Therefore, dolphins have been trained to swim close to pregnant women and emit their calls. Some even “kiss” the women on their lips or stomach. In Spanish-speaking countries, this practice is known as delfinoterapia, or dolphin therapy."

So I guess my babe wanted some delfinoterapia.

The whole experience was a thrill, getting to feed her, pet her and learn training signals. Pregnant or not, I highly recommend this! It wasn't on my things to do before I die list, but maybe it should have been.

Posted on September 4, 2006 01:07 PM
Comments

That's so awesome. I always wanted to be a marine biologist because I love whales and dolphins!!! That's a beautiful sight to imagine - the magic of animal intuition. :)

When I swam with dolphins in Honduras, the dolphins butted me with their noses. Not exactly the reception I was hoping for!

Posted by: victoria winters at September 12, 2006 09:01 AM

love your photos and you journal, blessings,
the name is delfinoterapia in spanish.

Posted by: Angie at September 10, 2006 01:35 AM

This really gave me goosebumps and I didn't get a chance to read through your comments so maybe I repeat this when saying-this will be a great story to tell your little one when they are older and you go to swim with the dolphins together.

Wonderful experience-thank you for writing about it.

Posted by: colorsonmymind at September 7, 2006 08:31 PM

I am certain you had the best intentions, but unfortunately, these are captive dolphins and therefore, exploited dolphins. Please read to understand why this is a serious animal rights issue: http://www.hsus.org/marine_mammals/what_are_the_issues/marine_mammals_in_captivity/swim_with_the_dolphins_programs/

Posted by: A Concerned Reader at September 6, 2006 07:43 PM

I am soooo...envious!! You got to do something I have always wanted to do, but never had the nerve. Now I feel that if you had the courage to do this, even while pregnant...I really have to get over myself and go to Sea World and give it a try. I think my 8 year old daughter would love it too. Great post. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience. :)

Posted by: Julia at September 6, 2006 06:30 PM

my daughter got to swim with the dolphins when we were in Oahu in March..she LOVED it. What an absolutely wonderful experience you had though:)

Posted by: jen paddack-hyde at September 6, 2006 12:53 PM

this sounds so amazing. i'll bet your little one loved getting all floaty with the dolphins too! you'll have to share this story with him or her someday :)

Posted by: my pink sky at September 6, 2006 12:48 PM

I'll have to share with my mother that you did this...she once did it in Mexico and LOVED it. (No surprise, eh?) ;)

Posted by: Marilyn at September 6, 2006 06:16 AM

how great that the babe is connecting with you in this way! what a strong spirit brewing in there...

Posted by: cheryn at September 5, 2006 10:06 PM

that is beautiful. so gorgeous.

Posted by: amy at September 5, 2006 10:05 PM

Hi Andrea..I've only read your wonderful blog...Your recent post reminded me of one of my life's fondest memories. While visiting New Zealand I took my two daughters 4 and 10 on a whale watching experience in Kaikura. We were on a quest to see "Drooping Flukes" the adolescent sperm whale. He was interesting...but looked more like a large log rolling in the sea. The real treat was when we came upon a pod of 500 Dusky Dophins spinning, flipping and squealling all around us. My daughters and I stood at the back of the boat...the dolphins followed jumping as close as possible to my girls. The captain told us that the dolphins love children and often closely follow boats with small children. He wasn't wrong...they stayed close to the boat almost until we reached the marina. Your story reaffirmed that what I learned 8 years ago..dolphins really do love children!

Posted by: Diana Kenney at September 5, 2006 09:17 PM

oohh! i'm so glad you got to experience that! it is amazing isn't it? i was fortunate enough to have a swim with dolphins in the wild. it was an absolutely heart-pounding, can't think, thrilling, "oh my god i can't believe this is happening" moment. i was ecstatic and i do believe it forever changed me. how lucky i was to run into them. a swim with the manatees is another experience that is more calming but as exciting too! anyway, glad you are experiencing new things!! much love to you!

Posted by: celisa at September 5, 2006 08:06 PM

Hey Andrea.
My niece Katie works at S.W. with the dolphins.
I wonder if she was one of your trainers?
We grew up in Carlsbad and realy took the whole S.W. thing for granted. Both my kids can't wait to go and now we get the V.I.P. package.
It sounds like you had a wonderful time that won't be forgotten easily. Good for you!

Posted by: Krista at September 5, 2006 06:10 PM

Andrea, what a wonderful experience for you and your child! You may enjoy reading a similarly magical short story in Living by Water by Brenda Peterson. Tears welled in my eyes as I read about her amazing experience with dolphins.

blessings and good wishes for you.

Posted by: riverdiva at September 5, 2006 01:36 PM

I was able to swim w/ dolphins many times in my 20's (my friend is a trainer...). She told me that they don't really like pregnant women in the water with them because they can pick up on the baby's heartbeat w/ the sonar and it makes them confused when they can't find the extra body that belongs to the heartbeat. It can make them get excited..or agressive.

The last time I did it several dolphins were "dive bombing" me. Swimming straight at me then veering away at the last minute. FInally I had to get out of the pool becuase they were getting to agitated (and it is kind of scary..they are big). The next week I found out that I was pregnant!!!

How cool for you!!!

Posted by: bek at September 5, 2006 12:49 PM

At the risk of sounding like my 2.5 year old, "HOW COOL was THAT?!"

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: zahava at September 5, 2006 12:29 PM

Wow, that is fabulous.
:)

Posted by: Tan at September 5, 2006 11:56 AM

What an amazing experience! That's definitely on my list of things to do before I die. I'm glad you were able to do it! Thank you for sharing. :)

Posted by: tali at September 5, 2006 11:35 AM

that gave me chills as i read it

Posted by: la vie en rose at September 5, 2006 11:10 AM

That is the greatest story ever. What an amazing experience to have and be able to share with your little one someday.

Posted by: Schmoopy at September 5, 2006 11:06 AM

Andrea, I was at Seaworld Sat. for my daughter's 6th birthday.Glad you had a Awesome time.

Posted by: shelly at September 5, 2006 10:37 AM

1.That is so awesome!
2.I posted a picture from our aquarium visit in La Jolla for "Silver". Great minds think alike! :)
3.Had the IUI on Monday morning. We'll know in two weeks.

Posted by: Keely at September 5, 2006 09:43 AM

What a beautiful story! As one who has the dolphin swim on their to do life list I loved the story. It makes me really want to set this in motion soon.

Thanks for sharing.

Kate

Posted by: Kate Robertson at September 5, 2006 09:30 AM

that is one of the most magical things I've ever heard...

Posted by: Megan at September 5, 2006 08:43 AM

What an incredible, affirming story. I have always been fascinated with dolphins, and swimming with them is definitely on my things to do before I die list. What was *your* response to the dolphin nudging your belly?

Posted by: carolyn at September 5, 2006 07:15 AM

What a magical experience!

Posted by: Tiff at September 5, 2006 07:05 AM

Beautiful story. You know what this means, right?

When baby is 10 years old, you, Matt and baby are going to have to get certified in scuba diving. Marcus, Alex and I will be your hosts when the time comes. Call us. :o)

Continued blessing on your wonderful pregnancy!

K.

Posted by: Chookooloonks at September 5, 2006 06:17 AM

OoOoo... so beautiful! babe love dolphin, dolphin love babe! maybe babe can meet dolphin one day and know each other straight away, you think?

Posted by: alison at September 5, 2006 04:45 AM

a dolphin blessing for your baby! fabulous!!! i remember reading that dolphins may be able to see internal organs etc via their sonar i.e. echolocation.

Posted by: wendy at September 5, 2006 03:41 AM

Hi Andrea - lovely story about swimming with the dolphins. And thanks for the link!
Surprisingly, of the hundreds of stories we had in to our site there wasn't one 'swim with dolphins' amongst them - guess it's just one of those things alot of people talk about but never get round to actually doing...Still, looks like serendipity was on your side and you had a great experience.

btw - good luck with the little rascal! Hope the last few months go really well...

Posted by: Chris at September 5, 2006 01:45 AM

that's an amazing story - and experience! the fact that the dolphin knew (and it's certainly wasn't anything to do with her eyes) is just incredible. we are all so connnected. i love it :-) x

Posted by: Susannah at September 5, 2006 01:11 AM

that's an amazing story - and experience! the fact that the dolphin knew (and it's certainly wasn't anything to do with her eyes) is just incredible. we are all so connnected. i love it :-) x

Posted by: Susannah Conway at September 5, 2006 01:08 AM

What a wonderful story. I'm pregnant also, and it sent chills. I'm going to look into doing this.

Posted by: philsagal at September 5, 2006 12:50 AM

what a amazingly sacred experience this must have been. something you will be able to tell your baby superhero one day.

beautiful.

Posted by: liz elayne at September 4, 2006 11:43 PM

woah.

that is so sacred!

Posted by: Leonie at September 4, 2006 10:13 PM

Andrea,
I was stunned when I saw the photo with this post. About eight years ago I wrote a short story called "Minnows and Stars." It wasn't a particularly good short story, but the central image of it has stayed in my mind and quietly asked to be written about again. That image was a painting that bears a striking – indeed, uncanny – resemblance to your photo of the silver fish in the aquarium. It's the closest thing I've ever seen in real life to the image that appeared unbidden in my head. I'm truly stunned.

Of course, I can't locate that old story at the moment, but I'm determined to dig it up to find the description of that painting. I’m also going to listen to the story that's been whispering to me all these years, asking to be written. I have no idea what that story is yet, but I'm intrigued to find out.

In the meantime, could I buy a print of that photo from you? I'd like to hang it by my desk as a reminder to listen to inspiration and to be open to life.

~Jennifer

Posted by: jennifer at September 4, 2006 09:26 PM

awesome! sounds like a magical weekend...

Posted by: stef at September 4, 2006 08:36 PM

great story, and so wonderful that you listened to the instincts coming through you. Sometimes I can see dolphins swimming by in the ocean where I live as I sit on the shore, and they give an amazing sense of calm...

Posted by: deezee at September 4, 2006 08:28 PM

what a beautiful story, andrea. the dolphin knew, im sure of it! and baby did too. :)

Posted by: Christine at September 4, 2006 07:54 PM

That's so cool that you were able to do that!

Posted by: Scout at September 4, 2006 07:50 PM

That is so beautiful! How wonderful that you listened to the urging. You're babe is very lucky to have such an intuitive mommy.

Posted by: Heather at September 4, 2006 07:18 PM

miss you already.

so do the dolphins...

xoxo

Posted by: Denise at September 4, 2006 06:51 PM

what a fabulous experience! so interesting.

Posted by: Jessica Hood at September 4, 2006 06:47 PM