|I got up early at 6am because today I go to the Dolphin Trainer Program at Anthony's Key. This is where the Roatan Marine Intstitute (RIMS). We had to be there at 8:15am by the latest.
My mom locked the key in our hotel room when we went for breakfast so we had to find a maid to let us in. We were almost late so my dad drove really fastto get thereand we got there at 8:17am. They were phoning us as we walked up the stairs to the office there. We had to be on time because all the trainers leave the island for the key every morning by boat and I am working with them today.
I went with David for the day, he was the trainer i am assigned to. First we went to the laboratory and he explained all about the marine life on the reef. Then we went out to the key where there are cabanas over the water on stilts. The dophins enclosure is off of the key.The dolphin trainers and me took a boat out to the key. When they saw my underwatervideo camera they all looked at it. They really liked it and had never seen one like it before. When I told them it could go down to 60 metres under water they said that is almost 200 feet.
When we got there I had to the dolphins food ready that they would eat that day. I had to sort the fish and if any fish had a cut I would not use it. The fish were herring and hake. There are 24 dolphins and 17 trainers. Each trainer basically has one dolphin they are ssigned to. David's and my dolphin was named Alita. She is the highest jumper of all the dolphins. Ther are two parts to the program. One is training the dolpins from the dock and the second part is working with them in the water. I learned all the hand signals to get them to do different behaviors.
When I was in the water with the dolphins there was Cortez (Alita's mom), Alita, Ritchie, and Paya (Ritchies father). Ritchie was small but very agressive. David said Ritchie was like Napoleon. I treaded water while I was in the water with the dolphins and gave hand signals. Then I got on a boogie board and Davidgave the signal for Alita to push me. We went really fast and she pushed me around the enclosure. Then Alita pushed me without the boogie board on my stomach. She pushed me with her nose on the bottom of my feet. Then I held onto Alita's dorsal fin andwent really fast. She went underwater and then did a front flip in the air with me on her.
I really liked the behavior when Alita did the tail-back when she is out of the waterwalking backwards on her tail.
At the end of the day we had to clean the boxes where they keep the fish and put stuff away and then the trainers and I went in a boat back to the main island from the key.