Today was the BIG day. Shiri has been reading about dolphins and saw somewhere that people swim with dolphins. She asked her mother if that was something we could do so Dana put me on a mission. There are several places to swim with dolphins in the Keys and happily for us, one of the highest rated places, Theater of the Sea, was literally about 15 minutes from the house! We signed up for an early slot hoping to avoid the heat of the day and for protection since sun screen is not allowed. Apparently it's not good for the dolphins. Eyal and I didn't even bring our cameras out since we were in the water the whole time but we did purchase the professional's pics that were taken from the dock.
It was an amazing experience. I will admit I was slightly nervous. I don't like being in the water with things that are going to come from under water and touch me. I was afraid I was going to freak out. I'm getting ismy in my old age! To my surprise and delight, I not only tolerated it but once I got comfortable with the animals, I really enjoyed it. They do not feel like I expected at all. They are slippery but not slimy. What impressed me the most was feeling their immense power. While I was hugging him, I could feel his muscles. It was one of the most impressive things I've ever felt.
After our swim, we showered off, applied liberal amounts of sun screen and went out into the park to partake of the rest of the attractions. We wandered around for a bit, caught up to the last 1/2 of the walking tour, then went to the 1st dolphin show of the day. Eyal and I sat right up front and realized quickly that since we didn't know where the dolphins were going to come up, shooting them was difficult. Many of my shots were focused on the background so the dolphins were out of focus. Very disappointing. However, they do several shows a day so we decided to stick around for the next one and our pictures got some better. It was very sunny in the afternoon so I closed down my aperture to f/8.0 and upped my ISO to 200 to maintain a shutter speed of 500 or 640.
While we were waiting for the second show, we also took in the Sea Lion show where Wilber entertained us with some pretty amazing tricks. Shooting in there was difficult because it so so back-lit. I had to do a lot of manipulation in post for those.
After that Dana and KC took the kids on a bottomless boat ride while Eyal and I tried in vain to get a picture of it. Then it was the bird show. I am NOT a bird fan. They are cool for a few minutes but then their eyes start to weird me out and god forbid one flies at me! I told you I'm getting ismy!
Eyal and I left KC and Dana with the kids at the bird show so we could go scope out the same spots for the next dolphin show. We were succesful and as mentioned above, our results were some better than our morning attempts.
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun