My first experience with dolphins in the wild was at The Divine Dolphin in 1999 in Costa Rica. My ex-husband and I stayed at an eco-lodge in the middle of the rainforest and then later would go out in the boat and see if there were dolphins around. Sure enough, we saw them every day. They usually liked to swim near us and follow the boat for awhile. This experience was the first time I had ever been exposed to dolphins in the wild and I’ve never really been the same since. We were lucky to have a marine biologist with us the entire time who gave us a lot of education about dolphins, their interpersonal lives and feeding activities. Since this experience, I have continuously advocated for their health and safety.
I am a HUGE passionate fan of dolphins and whales and I have been as long as I can remember being on this earth. It goes without saying that I also advocate for them quite regularly on my personal facebook page as well as TaoWander. To be clear, dolphins and whales are probably the very least understood of animals on planet earth. For one, they live in the ocean, whereas we as humans live on land. It is said that we know less about our oceans than we do about navigating space. As much scientific research as we have done on these exquisite creatures, we still have no real idea of the meaning of all the clicks, whistles and big vibrating songs – other than the fact that they have a highly complex form of language that we still don’t understand.
All I know is that from my heart, I feel a deep and soulful connection to all cetaceans and feel that we need to take a closer look to “understand” them without being invasive and disturbing. It is with this thought, that I wanted to list the 7 reasons to make a conscious choice to see whales and dolphins in the wild.
1) It’s on your bucket list
You saw Star Trek IV (truly the very best Star Trek ever!!!) and you’ve have been putting it off for years. You’ve been wanting to spend time with dolphins because you have heard so much on the internet and the news that there’s something wonderful about dolphins and whales. Regardless, seeing them in the wild is something that has always intrigued you and NOW is the best time to experience it.
2) You want to see them outside of an awful chlorine filled tank
Yes, for goodness sake, DO NOT VISIT AQUARIUMS! Dolphins are usually captured against their will, taken away from their families and basically tortured and put inside an awful chlorine filled pool that is equal to the size of swimming in your bathroom toilet (figuratively speaking). Seriously, the water is polluted and toxic and their lives are considerably shortened by living in such awful conditions. Also worthy of mention is because they use echolocation as their form of communication, the waves bounce off the walls of the pools and literally hurt them over a long period of time. Visiting an aquarium is truly not conducive to learning anything useful about them in any way that is normal. If you are still considering visiting an aquarium, consider the above, consider being robbed of your home, the ENTIRE OCEAN, taken away from your family and then forced to perform a bunch of intelligence insulting tricks in front of a group of people. It really is twisted if you look at it from their perspective. If you’re still not sure, watch BLACK FISH.
3) You have heard of a healing capacity that comes from being in their presence
Some of the captive facilities in the world have also used this as a means to capture them and then use them in “dolphins assisted therapy”. The only problem with this is obvious (as per #2). However, in the wild, dolphins will act on their own will and provide healing naturally through their own vibration. You may have not expressed it to your friends and family because they may think you’re weird especially if you feel like you can communicate with them. Many people with all sorts of different ailments from cancers to injuries have felt a strong healing connection between them and dolphins. To be alleviated from suffering seems to be a gift that both dolphins and whales can provide to us humans. Wouldn’t that be a gift to experience?
4) You have seen “The Cove” and want to make sure you see them in person
5) You feel a calling to be near them
You don’t know why, but like me you just have this strange and compelling reason to spend time with these beautiful creatures. You cry when you watch youtube videos or movies that are about them and you simply cannot get enough of their stories and energy. You want to do your part to help them in some way. Meeting them definitely provides you with some fuel to help. If you are being “called” to them, please do so, because there’s definitely a reason. Perhaps they are your spirit animal or perhaps you just need to see them and feel the joy of being in their presence. Make the trip and I promise you will always cherish every moment you spent with them.
6) Many species are under threat or endangered
Species like the Northern bottlenose dolphin, the amazon river dolphin and the humpback whale are all endangered. The good news is the humpback whales are rising in numbers again and we can thank all the non-profit work around the world for helping to protect them. Seeing them in the wild may also help you want to be more active in helping them!
7) You are concerned about the amount of pollution, plastics & seismic testing in our oceans
There’s no doubt about it, mankind has been less than kind to our oceans. We have consumed so much plastic and dumped it all in the ocean only to devastate our cetaceans and other beautiful sea creatures with our garbage. Then to make matters worse, for the purpose of getting more gas and oil, we use seismic testing which creates huge boom noises that are perilous to those that live in the ocean.
Whatever your reason to see dolphins and whales in the wild, know this… they can use your help! Consider giving back to them. Help them by speaking out for them on your facebook, Instagram and any other social media you use. Find an organization that is working hard to protect dolphins and whales. Here’s a list to choose from http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/organizations-dedicated-to-marine-conservation/