- Travel and Places
Swim with Wild Dolphins
Dream of Swimming with Dolphins?
Ever wanted to swim with wild dolphins? The magic of connecting with dolphins in the open sea on a genuine wild dolphin swim experience is one many call life-changing.
Dolphins are gentle creatures, so when we say 'wild dolphins' what that really means is to interact with them 'in the wild' rather than in captivity. HUGE difference! It's a matter of visiting dolphins in their own natural habitats rather than supporting tourist attractions where dolphins are forced to perform for humans.
Consider an opportunity to interact with these incredibly playful and mystic creatures in their own environment. One of the best places to swim with dolphins in the wild is in the Bahamas just north of the island of North Bimini.
Swim WITH the Wild Dolphins
... never ON them!
Notice that the people in these photos are just swimming NEAR the dolphins, gently inviting them to play. They are joining WITH them gently in a way that is not threatening. The goal is to swim WITH dolphins, never ON them as you might see at tourist attractions. These are dolphins, not horses.
Responsible tour operators will encourage you to swim with your hands resting lightly on your back or with your arms at your sides, allowing the dolphins to set the pace. Dolphins are attracted to sounds like laughter, singing and clapping. Patience and respect for the dolphin's space along with gentle invitations to play are what creates the magic of a swim with wild dolphins. Photo by Sierra at Divine Dolphin.
IMAX Dolphin Film
Amazing cinematography! Dolphin lovers will want to watch this film over and over again. Charming stories of friendships made with dolphins and background music that is delightful.
Dolphin Swim Research
Some say the experience of swimming with dolphins in the wild can effect them in ways that last long after having that experience.
"Research has found that 80% of people who swim with dolphins have a change in brain wave patterns from beta to theta states of consciousness. This explains why many participants experience states of bliss, ecstasy, deep peace, and a sense of well being.
Dolphin brains are always synchronized between left and right hemispheres. Human ...brains are not - but are found to become synchronized after swimming with dolphins. This phenomena has been known to support altered states of consciousness, and even out of body experiences.
It is believed that dolphins "see" holographically and so experience themselves as part of a whole, instead of the individuated identity that we have. That means they also see us in our wholeness." http://www.divinedolphin.com/
About Captive Dolphins
Consider what life in captivity does to a dolphin...
How can spectators learn anything about the real nature of dolphins when captive dolphins are trained to perform tricks that are not natural at all to their species? How can spectators become aware of preserving dolphins in nature, when the dolphins they're watching have been stolen from nature or were born in captivity and never even SAW the ocean?
"Keeping dolphins captive at resorts or aquatic parks is akin to torture...as it separates these sociable animals from their pods." ~ Dr. Horace Hobbs, director International Dolphin Watch
Captive dolphins do not have the skills to survive in the wild. Capture and trafficking in wild dolphins is already illegal in some areas (Costa Rica is just one). Dolphins born in captivity have to remain captive, for they'd never have a chance to survive in the wild. You will not hear about how dolphins were captured at places where dolphins are held in captivity. They won't talk about the disastrous effects of their kidnapping upon the social structure of a dolphin pod. In their efforts to 'educate' you might hear about 'sonic senses' of dolphins, but what they do not say is these SAME sonic senses are rendered useless in a concrete tank.
Dolphin Swim: Invest in the REAL Thing
Swim with Dolphins in THEIR Environment , NOT a Tourist Attraction!
The photo at right is this author, taken in Mexico in 2002. She was on a Carnival cruise and got caught up in the brochures and marketing ploys there, paid a LOT of money to 'swim with dolphins' during her cruise. The cruise ships call this a 'dolphin experience' , a very expensive tour that is NOT a 'swim with dolphins' but rather a visit with captive dolphins.
Note the dirty concrete in the background. These dolphins are raised in captivity for the tourist trade only. A 'dolphin experience' allows you to climb into this dirty concrete tank and 'experience' some dolphins while the trainer makes them perform tricks. These dolphins are subjected to the slavery of captivity and abuse, and the experience was disappointing, nothing like a real swim with dolphins in the wild.
Where to Swim with Wild Dolphins?
Wild Dolphin Swim Destinations Around the Globe
Bimini, Bahamas is among the top five places on earth to swim with wild dolphins in their natural habitat. Tour operators vary in each destination. Consider searching for those who provide experiences with dolphins in the open sea... in their own natural habitat - and NOT in some enclosed tank.
1. * Bimini, Bahamas * One advantage of swimming with dolphins in the wild in the Bahamas is the fact that the water is very warm, shallow and crystal clear. This location is a favorite due to: warm waters make the experience feel great; no need for wet suits, easy travel access from the US, most reasonably priced, and also the ocean in the Bahamas is crystal clear.
2. Kaikoura, New Zealand In New Zealand, dolphins are attracted to nutrients in the water that are available due to a 1200 meter trench situated just off the coast. So some say this is the best place in the world to swim with wild dusky dolphins because of the very high success rate of finding and swimming with the pods.
3. Oahu and Kona, Hawaii Spinner and spotted dolphin can be found in the Hawaiian waters, and some of the boat operators boast a 99% success rate of finding the pods on day trips.
3. Azores Archipelago This destination is a favorite due to the many different types of species found there. Up to eight different species of dolphins call this home and it is even possible to see super pods of up to 1000 individuals!
5. Red Sea, Egypt Spinner and bottlenose dolphin pods can be found in these waters.
"Keeping dolphins captive at resorts or aquatic parks is akin to torture...as it separates these sociable animals from their pods."— Dr. Horace Hobbs, director International Dolphin Watch
Wild Dolphin Swim in Bimini
Gentle and Playful Visits with Respect for Dolphins
Imagine going out in a catamaran daily to visit dolphins in their own natural habitat. Far from the usual cruise boat activities, this tour operator takes 10 people max to visit the dolphins and swim with them and near them.
Notice the lady's hands held back in the photo. That helps deliver a friendly message and a gentle invitation to a dolphin, one that is not aggressive nor intimidating. Given this patience, eventually the dolphin will delight in joyful play.
About Bimini, Bahamas
A Natural Dolphin Home
Bimini is a name derived from the Taino (Native American) words Bibi (meaning mother) and Mini (meaning waters), so the word Bimini can be translated as 'Mother of Many Waters'. Over 100 islands make up the Bahamas, and Bimini is closer to the US than any of them, a long thin strip about 50 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
Jimmy Buffett spent some time on South Bimini while writing one of his books. Ernest Hemingway also lived on Bimini from 1935 to 1937 and did some writing, but mostly he just went fishing a lot. A large part of Hemingway's title 'Islands in the Stream' takes place on the island of Bimini.
Just north of the island of north Bimini lies what natives call the 'dolphin grounds' which is a natural dolphin home and playground.
Hudson is a hard drinking expatriate who has been divorced twice.
He enjoys quiet days in solitude fishing and painting in the first (and happiest) section of the book.
Thse happy times for Hemingway were on that tiny remote island of Bimini in the Bahamas.
Islands in the Stream - by Ernest Hemingway
Some call this novel Hemingway's best ever. It wasn't actually published until nine years after his death in 1970. Three distinct sections of this epic title recount eras in the life of Thomas Hudson, who is a somewhat thinly veiled version of Ernest Hemingway.
The first section takes place in Bimini, where Hudson lives quite the idyllic lifestyle. The Bimini days are marked by a light-hearted and breezy tone compared to the rest of the novel.
In the second section Hudson has moved on to Cuba and became depressed as he had lost his son due to an accidentt. In Cuba, Hudson enjoys a brief reunion with his first wife.
The last section of the novel takes place at sea, where Hudson hunts Nazi subs.
Bimini Bahamas Map - The Bimini Islands are at the far left on the map, closest to the US
Into the Mystic in Bimini
Healing minerals and the fountain of youth in Bimini
The Healing Hole A pool found within the salt water mangrove swamp of North Bimini lies at the end of a network of winding underground tunnels. During outgoing tides, these tunnels and water channels pump cool, mineral-laden fresh water into the pool.
These waters are said to contain some very special healing minerals, two of which are natural lithium and sulfur. Many claim mystical properties exist in this Healing Hole, also referred to by some as a fountain of youth.
The Seacrest Hotel in Bimini
Here's where we stayed while we swam with dolphins, everyday!
Notice that there's ocean both in front AND behind this place. Decks on both sides and the view is fantastic! Our room was on the top floor where we could watch the sun rise on the front deck and sunset from the back.
No car needed, walk everywhere. You might enjoy renting a golf cart to explore the island. We did. Americans will need to get used to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road.
I'll go back to Bimini one day and would stay again at the Seacrest Hotel. Our boat captain (AL) is also a part of the family-owned Seacrest Hotel.
The Dolphin House
Located in Alicetown on North Bimini Island, there is NO other place quite like the Dolphin House.
Photos cannot really do this place justice, where the owner (Ashley) has been adding to this unique building for many decades. Mosaic designs and dolphin sculptures cover every wall of Bimini's most unique and artistic structure.
The Dolphin House is not a large place, yet definitely memorable as well as the island stories and history learned from the owner named Ashley, a very friendly and personable Bimini native.
There are units are available for rent at the Dolphin House for a memorable stay in Alicetown on the delightful island of Bimini in the Bahamas.
Magical Atlantis Energy
Atlantis and Bimini Bahamas
Ancient underwater cities can be found around the globe, and the sea bed in the area around Bimini is no exception. Consider the well-known story of the long lost city of Atlantis.
Could those underwater ruins be a preserved memory of an ancient alien metropolis? Could these deep aquatic worlds be the ruins of some unknown civilizations? or even proof of extraterrestrial visitations?
Here's our little 'dolphin pod' in the photo below. That's me in the center in black with white sunglasses and my son? Easy, he was the only male, poor kid. Not really, those women spoiled him rotten.
A Week in Bimini, Bahamas
We spent a week in Bimini and went out on the boat for at least a few hours every day.
No high rise hotels, no taxis cabs nor crowds. Just a quiet island escape.
We walked everywhere, except for the day we explored the island by golf cart. Our room had views of the sea from both sides.
Swimming With Dolphins, Bimini 2011
This video is actual footage from one of our swims with dolphins in Bimini.
Toward the end of this clip, you'll see a young male in black trunks - that's my son.
Listen for the magic of the dolphin sounds.
So What's the BIG Deal about Swimming with Dolphins? - Why the dolphin obsession anyway?
- WHY People LOVE to Swim with Dolphins in the Wild!
Take this photo tour about humans and dolphins.
Sierra and the Divine Dolphin
Check out divinedolphin.com to learn more about swimming with dolphins in the wild.
Originally a native of southern California, Sierra now lives in Drake Bay, Costa Rica and runs a marine life sanctuary there called the Divine Dolphin.
Sierra facilitates excursions with dolphin and whales in the wild. Her trips visit the dolphin grounds off the island of North Bimini in the Bahamas.
But Sierra, why not swim with dolphins in Costa Rica? Her response:: "Because it is illegal to swim with dolphins in Costa Rica now. And the dolphins in Bimini are AWESOME and it has magical Atlantis energy. Not that Costa Rica isn't magical, it IS for a million reasons... it's just that for actually swimming with dolphins, Bimini is the place to go!"
- Sierra Goodman lives in Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Learn more about Sierra here.
- Divine Dolphin
Divine Dolphin is owned by Sierra Goodman, and my FIRST choice when it comes to swimming with wild dolphins.
- Divine Dolphin on Facebook
Join other dolphin lovers at Sierra's Divine Dolphin fan page.
- Brisa Azul
Beachfront rental cabins in Drake Bay, Costa Rica. If you'd prefer a unique little cabin of your own on the beach over the usual hotel room in a high rise or other crowded spot, then this little Shangrila that Sierra has created is a must see!
- FB Fan Page for Brisa Azul
Visit Sierra's new fan page about Brisa Azul. I like! :-)
Wildquest - Another Option to Swim with Wild Dolphins
Wildquest is an organization that hosts groups interested in swimming with dolphins in the wild in Bimini.
In recent years, Sierra has teamed with Wildquest on these magical dolphin adventures.