Something I feel that I should mention when it comes to this program is the physical aptitude class. We have this class every day and it is the hope that by the end of the program we will be ready to go take employment swim tests at other aquatic facilities. We have done various workouts consisting of yoga, running, insanity videos and of course, swimming. I had the thought when I was swimming today that I should explain how the swimming at DRC is unique.
We swim in the lagoons that the dolphins live in (an empty one after the dolphins have shifted to another lagoon, of course), these lagoons are natural and are situated right in the Gulf of Mexico. It was quite a change coming from an indoor pool to the ocean salt water and everything that comes in it. When I first swam in it, I was very aware of all of the things floating in the ocean and all of the fish. I just continually imagined things touching my feet! You can tell that I’ve already gotten used to it thought because I have referred to it as being “so clear” multiple times- something I did not think I would say.
Now, that all might be interesting but the cool part of swimming in the lagoons is the fact that the dolphins will literally be on either side of the lagoons, stay at the fences and watch you under water the entire time. Every time you do a turn in a lap you usually have a dolphin cheering you on or subtly critiquing your form, both of which I am sure they are capable of doing.
Now, have you ever considered the ocean to be a noisy place? I don’t think I necessarily did but after taking our acoustics class and swimming in these waters, I have noticed that it can be quite noisy. When we first started, we were very aware of loud popping sounds underwater – turns out that it is the popcorn shrimp on the ocean floor. They are quite loud at expressing themselves.
When we swim, we can also hear a very persistent buzzing sound – turns out that is the sound of the dolphins echolocating off of us as we swim back and forth. I’m sure it’s their way of saying, “what in the world are you guys doing?”