Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Trojan from Trojans Corner has worked his magic again and made this beautiful short video album of our trip to the dolphins...it brings back memories so sweet it brings tears to my eyes.... Thanks Trojan, you are an angel...go to http://www.trojansgallery.blogspot.com/ to see his lovely post on the subject.
Why wild dolphins in the Bahamas? I know most of you have heard about swimming with dolphins in captivity in special centres, and I hear its incredible. We wanted a different experience though. Before we booked our trip I read about peoples experiences, and most importantly about how those people were afterwards.
One thing was obvious, no-one came away from their experiences with the dolphins without having had a life altering experience. But one thing became obvious the more I looked into it, and that was that the beneficial effects of swimming with wild dolphins seemed to outlast those of people who swam with captive dolphins.
There's lots of speculation as to why, some reports suggested that as wild dolphins are happier, they can give more. Others simply that the whole experience is freer, and therefore more therapeutic. But just as no one knows quite why dolphins are so beneficial, no one really knows the answers to that question either.
So we went off to look around on the Internet with Aaron on my lap, and he clicked off onto a group called Wild quest. We delved a little deeper and it seemed just what we were looking for.
Not only was this a group that took you out to swim with wild dolphins, it was actually a healing family week. Perfect. So off we went. I'm a bit of a water baby, so I couldn't wait to get there. Dave was a little apprehensive as he'd never swam in the sea before. The kids have no fear of anything, so they just wanted to dive right in and have an adventure.
When we got there, the size of the island was a surprise, it was tiny, and quite underdeveloped, and probably the most natural beautiful place I have ever seen. And the wild quest crew were fantastic with all the kids. They looked straight past Aaron and Deion's physical limitations and saw them for who they are as people. Total acceptance, as many of you know, is very rare indeed.
Although we initially thought we were going for Aaron, we all benefited. Deion, as you all now know has cerebral palsy, and we were not quite prepared for the effect the week would have on him either. All of our faces the first time we caught a glimpse of those magical dolphins gliding through the water must have been a picture. And the noises they make, I can't quite put it into words, but it's a sound that vibrates right through you and makes you feel totally peaceful. Like I said, words are inadequate here.
It wasn't all smooth sailing (pardon the pun). As I said, Dave isn't the best swimmer, I often tease him that he swims like a brick. He has a whole big excuse about his muscle being more dense than ours, closer to the surface, subcutaneous muscle he says, makes you heavier in the water. Whatever Dave!!! The day we saw a tiny baby tiger shark in the water though, his subcutaneous muscle didn't kick in, and he practically ran on water to get back to the boat. He shot past me quicker than I've ever seen anyone swim! Of course it would have been better if he hadn't left an eight year old Jordan in the water to fend for himself.
But before you ring social services, don't worry, there were plenty of other people in the water, and Jordan got back to the boat safely. We'll never let Dave live it down though.
Anyway, when we got back; friends, family, teachers and doctors couldn't quite believe the change in Aaron. He was more alert, his eyes were wide open and he had more energy than we knew what to do with. So we broke our necks and got back there every year, every time we touch down in Bimini it feels like coming home, wildquest crew have become family and it became our way of keeping Aaron strong. A sort of secret weapon, if he became week or ill, we booked a flight.
Thats why we scattered Aaron's ashes there, it was like taking him home, now we think of him flying through the waves with his dolphin friends. I know that's where I'd want to be.