Last day in San Diego, and I sure made it count!! Without even knowing it, I had set off on an adventure I really wasn't expecting!!! Everyone I had spoken to hadn't really raved on about Sea World, so I wasn't going to go, and the sun was out, so I was planning to just go and hang out at the beach all day!!! Then I thought ~ I can go to the beach in SA, get off your butt and do something different. I got on the bus, and headed for Sea World. While I was standing in the queue to buy my day pass ticket, they were making all kinds of announcements ~ one of them peaked my interest "why don't you live your childhood dream, and swim with a dolphin!!!" Wow, I thought!!! That sounds like something I'd like to do!!!
The dolphin show was at 11h15, so I went along to watch that. Sat in the 4/5 row from the front, and got absolutely soaked!!! Good fun though!! During the show, my excitement had been building up for my encounter, and the show finished at 11h45, and I made my way over to the dolphin encounter area!! Signed all kinds of waiver forms, and sat for a 10 minute lecture about dolphins, their training programme, the dos and don'ts etc. Got suited up in wetsuits, divided into groups ~ I was with 2 other girls of similar age to me, Erica & Gillian. None of us had done this before, and we were all very excited. Our instructer was Marissa! She warned us the water was cold - understatement of the century!!! We all climbed into the water and waited for Tobi to come over!!!
I was nominated first to take him for a walk along our ledge by holding onto his fin. So exciting. A little nervous, but more excited. I then did a little singing and dancing with him.... We rubbed his belly, and this was soft & rubbery, the underbelly is white and a lot more sensitive than their grey backs. You can even feel the thicker, rougher texture of the grey skin opposed to the white underbelly. Marissa was a very good instructer, and very relaxed and funny!! For her next trick, she called Tobi up really close, and told us to "lap water over his face". Unbeknown to us, this was his signal to SPLASH BACK!! For some reason, Tobi gunned for me, and I got absolutely drenched!!! Next we did a simultaneous dive, where I dived to the side, and Tobi copied me ~ really amazing. We then had hugs and kisses, more games and displays, then we had to say goodbye!!!
This was truely an amazing experience, and really the highlight of my trip so far!!! If ever anyone gets the opportunity to do something like this, don't even think twice about it!!! DO IT!!!
After the dolphin encounter, I rushed across to the Whale pool where I had booked a lunch date with Shamu the killer Whale. Poolside dining with a buffet lunch while instructors chat to you about the Killer Whale and 3 beautiful killer Whales performed for us!!! Lunch was great, but the killer whales were unbelievably amazing!!! After lunch I went to the stadium where the Killer Whale show was about to start!! What an amazing display and show!! If you can, take a look at the videos I've downloaded of the show ~ don't really do it justice, but you can get quite a good idea of how awesome it was!!
Wish I had had more time at Sea World, but had to catch the bus back to Pacific Beach to meet up with Mike & Lisa, and head back to San Diego Airport for our flight back to Seattle. Lisa was continuing on back to Richland, but my next stop was the Emerald City, Seattle!!