A dolphin experience to remember

It was around eight years ago but I remember this moment like it was yesterday.

We were on a family holiday in Marmaris and we had decided to take a stroll down the marina. As we walked along, admiring the natural beauty around us there was a distant pier where the shrill shriek of a dolphin could be heard. Sure enough there, tucked away off a private jetty, was the ‘dolphin experience.’

I remember this moment like it was yesterday.

My baby sister had always said that it was her dream to swim with dolphins. My parents have always done what they could to make all our dreams a reality and as she was my one and only baby sis, I echoed their sentiment. But something just didn’t seem right.

I remember this moment like it was yesterday.

I remember thinking here we were having a brilliant family vacation, the first we had embarked on for some time and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make the youngest member of our family happy. I could tell the thought had played on my parents mind too. But there was something about the dolphins cry we’d heard that wasn’t right.

I remember this moment like it was yesterday.

My parents didn’t treat my sister to the dolphin experience that day. My dad has always been completely against animals in captivity so it would have gone completely against his principles. I remember thinking that surely this experience was different, after all the enclosure was in the sea. Is it possible that they perhaps let the dolphin out every night??

I remember this moment like it was yesterday.

My naivety quickly drifted away when we heard the sounds of the dolphin once again. I felt washed over with sadness, dreading what circumstances this animal had been subjected to before reaching its fate as a photo prop and sad that my sister may never be able to fulfil her dream.

However, today, on my sister’s 28th birthday I feel nothing but relief and immense satisfaction that my family walking away from that moment, was the best decision they could have ever made. Even my sister at a young age knew that what was happening on that pier was wrong. And today, as a family we were rewarded.

Today on our last day in the beautiful Algarve, we hopped on a safari boat where our captain and skipper led us out to sea.

There, we were treated to numerous sightings of wild dolphins.

We couldn’t touch them, couldn’t control them, we had no idea what they were doing or where they were headed and that was where the true beauty of the experience lay.

Watching them go about their business, free to roam where they please in the vast water world beneath us.

Our skipper Shaheen, explained that dolphins can cover at least 200km a day and made a point on the importance of allowing them to stay ‘wild.’

Mo and I have become a lot more conscious of animal experiences. We have been educating ourselves over the years, after being duped into believeing certain activities are eco or animal friendly on past holidays. One thing we are both 100% against is keeping marine life in captivity.

Google tells me that nearly 71% of our earth is covered in water. Most marine animals cover distances in a day most land animals don’t accomplish in a week.

Watching our pod of dolphins showed us just how important it is for people to be educated in the right kind of animal tourism. Our boats were small and the crew knew exactly how to behave once they saw any wildlife, ensuring not to chase or corner them in any way, repecting their space and territory.

It meant that all of us on that boat were able to witness one of the most graceful and beautiful sea mammals, happy and playful in their own home.

 

(Fyi – Video will be added once I am back home, currently waiting for plane home to take off!)

 

I hope that from now on, this will be the moment I remember like it was yesterday.

 

 

*** Happy birthday to my beautiful best friend. I am so glad we all got to share this experience together. ***

 

 

Author: Sus

Head Chick at Jet Set Chick
Keen interest in art and design, discovering new cultures and learning from my experiences. Oh and cats. I love anything to do with cats.

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  • What a gorgeous post! So beautifully written and I’m so happy you got to see them in their natural habitat, can’t wait for the video!

    • Asma

      thank you 🙂 and I feel so privileged to have seen them so free. I’m just hoping I can make sense of my over-excited video footage LOL