Amazing Dolphin Experience
Mainly sunny high 20's
04 February 2013 | The Dominican Republic
After leaving Nanny Cay we spent the night in a nearby bay where we did some more snorkelling then had a early morning dive at The Indians before going to Tortola for immigration checkout. We then left early on 29th January for the 350 mile leg to the Dominican Republic. We made good time arriving at Ocean World Marina late afternoon on 31st.
To the children's delight we found the marina was attached to Ocean World Marine Park. We spent the following day at the park and the children and I did the Royal Dolphin Swim which gave us an hour in the water with the trained dolphins, it was amazing. There were two dolphins in the water with us and at the trainers instruction a dolphin would come up and kiss you and let you cuddle it. They also pushed us around the pool you start off floating on your tummy legs straight and slightly apart then 2 dolphins come along and put their snout on the ball of your foot then push you along and up into the air. We also had a tow where we had to tread water with our arms out and then the two dolphins come on either side of you and you grab their fins and they tow you along. They also pushed us along on a boogie board. Another was a tummy pull where they would come along in front of you on their back and you grab hold of both side fins and they pulled you along. A very funny thing was that you wave your hands in front of them and they sing then if you tickle them under their snout they start splashing you. It was a fabulous experience and we all felt very privileged to be so close to the beautiful creatures. Something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Then in the afternoon we went to watch the dolphin show and they asked Cameron if he would like to volunteer, he jumped at the chance. One of the things he did was to be held up in the air by one of the trainers as he was balancing on the snouts of two dolphins and being pushed around the pool at quite a speed. The dolphins can swim at 35knot an hour. I think Cameron quite enjoyed the limelight.
The following day we spent at a lovely Lifestyle Resort where they tried to sell us timeshare type package. Yesterday we got a hire car and went up into the hills to a river with many waterfalls where we were taken by guides up the river, Andrew and Sophia then climbed various stairs and ropes and were sometimes pulled up waterfalls by the guides only to turn around and come back down by either sliding down the waterfall or jumping off into the pool, they did 6 waterfalls ranging from 6 to 20 feet drops. They both really enjoyed it, I did 3 and found them a little scary, Cameron was'nt allowed to do it as he didn't meet the height regulations.
We have enjoyed our time here, there are quite a few tourist in certain areas but the country is still quite undeveloped the main industry is agriculture and an average wage is apparently about $US2000 per year. The people here are very friendly and welcoming. There was quite a bit of security around the marina and other tourist hotels.
Tomorrow 5th February we head to the Southern Bahamas.
This marina is on the Atlantic Coast it is not in a harbour or river, it was made by putting in a very big circular break wall and there is a canal to the north to enter, as I sit on the boat typing this update I can hear the waves crashing on the break wall and nearby beach.