On Saturday, we went to Discovery cove. There was a huge thunderstorm the night before, so we go there early so we could get our dolphin swim in right away, in fear that they might have to close down due to lightning. (We were told, while we were there, that Florida is the lightning capital of the world--however, when I did a google search, i saw that Rwanda, Africa has 2.5X more lightning than Florida--sorry, Florida.) [Interesting lighting info.]
So ANYWAY, we changed into our much needed wetsuits (the water is like 72 degrees BRRR!), & went swimming w/the Dolphins! It's much more structured than I expected. you don't exactly "swim" with them. Discovery cove has about 30 dolphins, 5 of which do a show at a time. They break you up into groups of 5 or so, & take you, w/a trainer to spend 1/2 an hour with your dolphin.
Our dolphin was Lester. He's about 45 years old. Dolphins in the wild only live to their 20's. Lester looks like a little old man if you look at him closely. :) You can tell dolphins apart by their faces and their tail fins. -they all look different.
Did you know that since dolphins are mammals (which, in part, means that their babies are born alive), they have belly buttons? Also, all of their mammary glands & "boy parts" are tucked up inside of their bodies, for aerodynamic-icity.
After telling us all about the dolphins & letting us pet them, we got to swim out to the deep water & get towed back to shore on Lester's back. :) I just accidentally deleted the picture of me, but you can see that my previous post. here are the ones of Chris: