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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hawaiian Honu (Turtle)

Don't you just love it when something unexpected happens that completely makes your day!
Today I went snorkeling with my husband late in the afternoon and finally had my opportunity to swim with a turtle. I've seen the turtles around for years and always wanted to swim with one but never got the chance. They would always swim away. This afternoon we snorkeled around for a bit and were on our way out of the water, close to the rocks when we spotted "her". (it seemed like a her) There she was feeding on the rocks along side some beautifully colored fish. I followed her and we swam together for awhile. It was wonderful. I felt honored that she let me get so close.
I'd love to swim with wild dolphins someday. I've been in the pool with trained dolphins at Dolphin Quest but never with wild dolphins. Last year I had an amazing experience as an intern at the Hilton Waikoloa Dolphin Quest. They had a newborn they were monitoring to make sure he was nursing regularly and doing all the things dolphins need to do to survive. I was chosen as one of the people that got to go into the pool with the mama dolphin, her newborn and 3 other dolphins. I stayed underwater with a mask and snorkel for an hour counting how many times the baby nursed, came up for air, defecated and bumped the mama. Bumping indicates it wants to nurse.
One of the dolphins kept coming up to me and opening her mouth as wide as she could and tried to bite my arm and leg. It seemed like she was being playful like a puppy but it was very intimidating! The whole experience in the dolphin pool was exciting and seemed like a dream to me. I didn't want to leave when it was time to get out!

Here's a video of a dolphin being born :

If you love dolphins like I do, then you might like to check out the book "Listening To Wild Dolphins, Learning Their Secrets For Living With Joy" by Bobbie Sandoz
It's a fun book that has some interesting information about dolphins and the authors experiences swimming with them for over 10 years.

Today I appreciate knowing how to swim, living in a warm tropical place, having a marine sanctuary within walking distance to my house, the beautiful underwater life,
playful dolphins and friendly sea turtles!

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