Wild Jamaica

The area that housed the dolphins was set out before the ocean, enclosed by a wooden boardwalk and various floating structures. We were instructed to put on safety vests, put away our belongings and begin to queue around the pools. As we were moving, the dolphins began to shoot up and arc out of the water at amazing speeds and at distances sometimes 2-3 times the length of their bodies. It was truly a spectacle. I was both amused and apprehensive because I had never been up close to and or touched a dolphin. In the moment, I was perfectly content watching them and was losing the desire to interact with them the closer I got. A few things were going on: First, I don’t have great relationships with animals; second, I had an irrational fear of being attacked and or drowned by the dolphins; and last, I wondered if the dolphins were being treated well and if I was contributing to some unseen shitty life they were living. Our group was lined up on concrete slabs on the side of the pool facing the ocean, while the other lined up to our right in front of the auxiliary dolphin pool. In front of us all, participants who were already in the pool interacted with the dolphins by swimming with them, riding on a fin, or–and I’m serious here–were jetted (dolphined?) out of the water with incredible speed. They laughed and cheered. I wrenched on the inside.