Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sea World - Dolphin Encounter


The Dolphin Encounter at Sea World is a very popular attraction. People pay $7 for some fish and are then guided in how to behave around the dolphins by trained parks people. The biggest concern is that people not let the paper tray the fish come in ever get close to the water. If the dolphins saw that tray, they would try and snatch it, potentially choking on the paper. Also Seagulls would flock overhead whenever the feeding started. They had a habit of dive bombing tourists in an attempt to get at the fish.
I stood across from the area where people could stand near the water for free. They would lean over with their hands in the water waiting diligently for the dolphins to come to them. The dolphins were not interested. They only went to the trainers who they knew had food.
I was standing next to a parks person whose job was to watch the tourists and make sure they didn't have any personal items hanging over the water's edge. If he saw a tourist with a sweatshirt hanging over or a water bottle he would contact someone on the opposite side via walkie-alkie and let them know what was up. "The tourist with the blue shirt on your right has a sweatshirt hanging over the ledge." Another parks person would rush through the crown to find the tourist with the sweatshirt and ask him to step back. Some Harley-Davidson bikers also hung out, hoping to touch a dolphin. I'm betting the dolphin's skin feels much like the worn leather jackets they were wearing.
After a few minutes of feeding the dolphins, the people who had paid would all be asked to leave to that another group of tourists could file in.

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