Thursday, October 9, 2008

Having a Whale of a Time

My favorite animals are whales, dolphins, and porpoises (cetaceans). Ever since I was a little girl I was fascinated with them. My first time at Sea World was in California when I was 4 years old and I remember how great I felt just watching them at the viewing window glide back and forth in the water so gracefully. In sixth grade my teacher used the Voyage of the Mimi series to teach us and it was filled with great scenes with them spotting whales. I started a newspaper and magazine clipping notebook on them and it was filled quickly since I lived in Alaska at the time. I started reading books on them and writing notes. Every time there was a school paper to write I would try to incorporate them in it if I could. I wanted to be a cetacean biologist (cetologist) or marine biologist. As a child my home teachers from church took me to a museum in Alaska that was featuring mechanical whales and dolphins in an exhibit.

As a teen I wanted one of those Shamu Cruisers to drive around :) I was into science fiction books like Animorphs and Deep Wizardry because of the whales and dolphins in them. I was introduced to a dolphin discussion forum called POD (Place of Dolphins) by one of my Animorphs role playing buddies and that is where I met my husband. He was in Ohio at the time and I was in Utah. We also chatted by messenger and a web camera with video chat. He came to visit me in person the day before my birthday in May of 1999 and in a whirlwind wedding we were married in June of that same year in his parents' backyard. Some say we were crazy, but we were in love and still are! He is the love of my life and I am so glad to have been introduced to POD because I don't know where I would be without him and my 4 wonderful children!

Before I moved to Oregon I went to Newport and went whale watching with my husband with Marine Discovery Tours. We also went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and I wished we were there when Keiko was so that I could have seen him before they let him back in the wild. We also took a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada and went to the Mirage Hotel where Siegfried and Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is. Generally that, shopping, a few shows, and my sister's family would be my only reason to visit there because my sister lives and works in Las Vegas now that she is married.

After three of our children were born we lived in Orlando, Florida for a while and spent a lot of time together at Sea World there. I envy the dolphin and whale trainers there because they get to spend their whole day with them and get paid for it. I miss Orlando a lot. We go back and visit every now and then. Oregon is fun too, but I miss living as close to the coast as I used to. Now the Sea World in Orlando has a great new water park called Aquatica and it looks like so much fun!! They have a water slide called the Dolphin Plunge that goes beneath the water and their Commerson's Dolphins swim right beside you while you are shooting through a see through tube. Maybe I will get to go when my children are a little older and I don't have a baby in tow although she probably would love the lazy river.

I saw this awesome dolphin submersible watercraft not to long ago. It is made by Innespace and they just came out with a new model that is a two seater called the Seabreacher! It is really something to go and check out. Boy if I had the money to get one I would in a heartbeat. It is able to perform sustained dives, huge jumps, barrel rolls, and many other amazing acrobatic tricks.

1 comment:

my little kingdom said...

I grew up in FL and we often take our 4 boys back there, the oldest (8) especially loves dolphins, he wants to be a marine biologist and study them. We loved SeaWorld Orlando too. Hadn't been there since I was a little girl and after returning I can't wait to go back, I would highly recommend it to anyone. They are beautiful and fascinating creatures.