My most recent trip overseas was to Hawaii. It was there that I got to swim with the dolphins
I have had wondrous experiences in all the places I have wandered to, and all have had an impact of some sort on my life. Honolulu was more full of such experiences than anywhere else I have ever been. But easily the most exciting and invigorating experience I ever had was at Sea Life Park, on the island of Oahu, the day we went swimming with dolphins.
The island of Oahu is only small, about 36 miles wide, but it holds a whole lot of life for all who live and visit there. I originally went there for two weeks, to visit three friends I knew from several years previous, when we all lived in China together. I ended up staying for six months, before returning to Australia in December 2007.
At Sea Life Park, my lady friend and myself experienced what can only be described as the greatest adrenalin rush I can ever remember. We started by getting in the water with some sea lions, which was quite exciting. Later, we went scuba diving with sharks, stingrays, turtles and fish, but the greatest and most memorable thrill came when we were actually in the water swimming with dolphins.
This part of the day started with just stroking the dolphins. Then one dolphin comes up and kisses each of us on the cheek. Then on the lips.
Next, the trainer had me lie flat on my stomach in the deep water, with my arms straight out at ninety degrees to my body, and floating on the surface of the water. Then I could hear the two dolphins swimming up behind me. As they swam past, I grabbed the dorsal fin of each, and they dragged me through the water.
I stopped being human, and, for the ten seconds I was dragged through the water, was as one with the dolphins and nature. The water rushing against my body, and the sheer power of the dolphins as they raced through the water, needs to be experienced to be believed. This was faster than any man can move through the water without mechanical assistance.
I recognised instantly that this was the most incredible and heart pounding experience I had ever had. I remembered climbing volcanoes, abseiling off cliffs, white water rafting, and flying over large cities at night in helicopters to see the lights. Nothing compared to this, and I didn’t think anything else could.
I was wrong.
Next, the dolphin trainer had me float flat on my stomach, with my arms straight in front of me, and my legs slightly parted behind me, again in the deep water. I heard the dolphins again swimming up behind me. Then I felt one dolphin nose on each of my feet, and they were pushing me fast through the water. So fast that I actually came out of the water up to my waist, still moving forward, and finally out of the water all together, before diving back in..
That was even more invigorating, and I will never forget the sensation.
There was much more to see at Sea Life Park, including shark and marine displays, dolphin shows, dancing penguins and aquariums – It is a total day out. At night, there is often a luau, but that is a story for another day. There are also Hawaii’s most endangered marine animal, the monk seal, in protected enclosures, and many other sea life features. And the Walfen, a cross between a dolphin and a false killer whale (the only one of its kind in the world).
It was probably the most exciting day I had at the tourist places in Hawaii, and one of the best anywhere I have travelled in the world. The towering, volcanic Koolau Mountains, overlooking the park on one side, and the beautiful, blue Pacific Makapuu Beach on the other, are breathtaking in themselves.
I would strongly recommend the dolphin swim, and Sea Life Park. Flights from Australia to Honolulu are incredibly cheap flying JetStar (it cost me a little over A$400), and the day out can be easily arranged through Expedia (which has offices in nearly all the hotels in Waikiki).
I had many great adventures in Hawaii, but as long as I live, I will never forget the sheer thrill of that one hour in the water, swimming with the dolphins.
Other Feature Articles about Hawaii:
Honolulu USA – Pearl Harbor
Diamond Head Hawaii
Hawaii USA – Sea Life Park
Oahu Hawaii – Swimming With Dolphins
Waikiki Hawaii – Honolulu Tavern Karaoke
December 15 1874 Hawaiian King Kalakaua Visits USA
December 7 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor
Barack Obama May Not Be The Antichrist
March 22nd 2008 08:45