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The Flip Side

A large sign that read “Dolphin Cove” greeted us as we pulled up. I hopped out of the car, and made my way to the building. The sun beat down on me; I could almost feel my skin burning. The one story building was a gift shop for tourists to purchase overpriced souvenirs. It was completely open and breezy; doors allowed air to flow through and create a peaceful vibe. I was in a kind of a trance, mesmerized by this scene. I sauntered down the stairs toward the cove and saw wonderful sight before me. A wire fence type structure surrounded a section of the water and docks branched out over the clear, turquoise water. A dolphin leaped to the surface and flipped in the air. I watched it descend back down, water splashing as it collided with the water.

I walked down to the rack of life jackets quickly; the hot cement burning the soles of my feet with every step. I got chills when I put one on that was soaking wet. My mom, sister, and I waited for the trainers to give us instructions. I struggled to pay attention, because all I wanted to do was be in the water. I had butterflies in my stomach; but I was more excited and eager than nervous.

The trainers finished, and we walked to our spot on the dock and were instructed to get into the water. It was cold at first, but warmed up quickly. I looked down, hoping to see movement under the water; but only saw seaweed. Then a dolphin jumped into the air. It seemed to last forever before it came plummeting back down. The trainer, who had introduced herself as Jennifer, used a high pitched whistle to call the dolphin over to her.

With the dolphin only a mere 5 feet from me, I was not frightened. There was something about the magnificent animal that made me trusting and calm. I got to run my hand along his back as he swam beneath me. He felt rubbery, yet soft to the touch. His outer skin, scratched, and I felt a moment of sadness and guilt for the innocent animal.

I swam out a little ways from the dock and waited. After a few hand signals from his trainer, he came up from underneath me. I grabbed a hold of his fins. With our bellies touching, he pulled me through the water. His fin whipped the water beneath me, making us move. The experience was like no other; truly amazing. Ever since I was a child, swimming with dolphins had been a dream of mine.

A few minutes later, the trainer motioned for him to kiss me. I stayed floating in the water as he came up beside me and kissed my cheek. I could not help but to smile. After a few seconds, I turned my head to the side and kissed him back.

When it came time to leave, I was very disappointed. I had a more enjoyable time here than I ever had before in my life. When I look back on that day now, I realize that is a memory that will always stay with me. When I have my own family one day, I wish for them to have the same opportunity I had.





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