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This is not a blog about writing—although I am writing it because I never want to forget the way I feel at this moment and writing is the best way to assure the memory is preserved. There are photographs to help me remember, of course, but I’m a writer and so I want the words, too.  Someday, when I’m old (well older) I want to reread this blog and feel these feelings all over again.

Today, I had one of the most amazing and magical experiences of my life.  And I, who call myself a writer,  am stunned by it—almost at a loss for words. But not quite!  Today,  I swam with the dolphins in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  Ten of us jumped into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and spent more than two hours romping and doing acrobats with two, adorable and well-trained dolphins. One by one, we floated on our stomachs. Each dolphin butted a velvet snout against the bottoms of our feet and pushed us across the water at amazing speeds—like body surfing with lots of motor power and virtually no waves. 

We humans partnered up,  linked ankles and held out our arms while the two dolphins spun us in circles. I felt like Ester Williams in one of her old, water-themed television specials—straight from Cypress Park, Florida. The dolphins swam on either side of me, allowing me to grab a fin and take a ride—water skiing without the skis. One of them even did a little dance—me holding onto his fins and both of us shaking our booties.

I was in awe of their beauty, their mischievous nature, their intelligence and their ability to show affection and humor.  When one of us humans messed up our role in the production, the dolphin seemed to smile and then gladly provided us with another chance.  At the end, I got a kiss on the cheek and another one smack on the lips.  At my age, I’ve been kissed a few times by frogs, but never by one of these magnificent creatures.

So this is my advice to you. If life ever provides you with the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, grab onto it. You won’t regret it, I promise. The ten of us ranged in age from about forty to eighty years old—and everyone had the time of their lives.  And if you do get the chance, take a moment to record your feelings about the adventure. It will help you remember it better than photos. It just doesn’t get any better than this. 


 


Comments

Martha Miller
04/15/2014 7:20am

It doesn't get any better than reading what you've written about the experience, Susan. I feel like I was there. I'm such a wimp about the water that I might never have this glorious adventure, so it was wonderful to feel it wrap around me, immersed in your words.

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Dawn & Bill
04/29/2014 8:41am

Hi Susan,
We just received your card and I decided to check out your blog. It was so wonderful to read what you wrote about that day. Bill & I share your feelings. Bill has been on this trip many times and swimming with the dolphins was by far his most amazing experience. It helped that we had such a fun group of people to share it with as well...and I'll assume I'm the one you deemed 40...:-) I hope our paths cross again! We had great fun with you and those beautiful creatures.

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04/29/2014 9:21am

Hi Dawn and Bill, Of course, Dawn, you and I were the forty year olds in the group. The babies. It was the most fun I've had in years. I'd love to stay in touch. I'm on Facebook under Susan Clayton-Goldner. If you're a user, send me a friend request. All the best to you both.

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Martha Ragland
05/05/2014 10:04am

I had NO IDEA this is what swimming with dolphins is like. What dear, dear creatures these dolphins are. And you, Susan, communicate the joy of that experience so well. Your heart just shines in this piece. Thank you! You've made my day.

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02/19/2015 10:16pm

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02/19/2015 10:46pm

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10/01/2015 5:20am

Thank you for sharing this post with us, I am working in Odyssey Surf School as a surf trainer. Alongside the likes of meeting favourite Disney characters and those from their favourite films at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida holds another face of appeal for children- that of the friendly dolphin at SeaWorld Orlando and Orlando's Discovery Cove.

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11/10/2015 3:21am

Swimming is very ocward and difficult activity to accomplish and achieve. The swimming with the aquatic animals especially with the dolphins is very tough and life threatening. It is full of dangers and issues of the times.

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01/20/2016 8:14am

Thank you for sharing this post with us, I am working in Bali Surfing Lesson Company as a Surf Instructor. Dolphins hold a very special place in peoples hearts and most people find swimming with a dolphin a very moving experience and cannot wait to do it again, despite the price. Florida offers many opportunities to swim with dolphins no matter where you are staying.

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Barry
03/06/2016 1:53pm

Great sharing here. Judi and I have yet to do this but I can still remember my unnerving fear of having a large stingray nudge me in San Carlos, Mexico when I was 15-16 and about to resume water skiing in the bay. You’ve captured well the spirit of what Pat Conroy eloquently shared with us in Beach Music (without the touching):
“…Then another porpoise broke the water and rolled toward us. A third and fourth porpoise neared. The visitation was something so rare and perfect that we knew by instinct not to speak—and then as quickly as they had come, the porpoises moved away from us…Each of us would remember that all during our lives. It was the purest moment of freedom and headlong exhilaration that I had ever felt. A wordless covenant was set, and I would go back in my imagination, and return to where happiness seemed so easy to touch.”

Your passionate writing style demonstrates a unique, yet consistent, openness to the world around you that we can see in the following quote: “I wanted to become the seeker, the aroused and passionate explorer, and it was better to go at it knowing nothing at all, always choosing the unmarked bottle, always choosing your own unproven method, armed with nothing but faith and a belief in astonishment.” ― Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline

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05/25/2016 12:06am

Swimming With The Dolphins.
It doesn't get any better than reading what you've written about the experience, Susan. I feel like I was there.

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06/23/2016 2:31am

Why, why oh why did you go alone. I have a lot of equipment with me bought with the guides of Outdoorswim.com and I really wanted to use them. The experience is so amazing that you forget everything else.

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06/28/2016 3:24am

Hello me and my friend who works in balisurfinglesson.com, Since such a large number of individuals are getting to be occupied with doing this, there are various spots far and wide that offer certain bundles you can get for just yourself or your family also. More often than not, you will find that these spots have prepared "bottlenose" dolphins that you can swim with and play with too.

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07/22/2016 6:46am

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.

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08/12/2016 8:44am

Just read about your article and want to share my experience. I fished the local Kelp with 3 little boys who LOVE fishing as we quickly filled the Chum Buddy with mac.

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08/25/2016 11:27am

A person in this blog defines its experience with the dolphin. They swim with them in the water and they give so much love in return.

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09/15/2016 2:48am

Hello me and my friend who works in www.odysseysurfschool.com, A get-away in Honolulu is not finished until you have encountered the delight and awe of swimming with the dolphins. These fun loving and tender creatures offer you a look into their reality and they will demonstrate you exactly how brilliant they truly are.

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10/07/2016 4:49am

I love dolphins because they are too much freindly with us . I love the way they live and their everything. Thanks alot for posting this article.

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01/07/2017 8:31am

Swimming With The Dolphins is something I've wanted for a long time. Really admire when you've done that

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