Honduras- Become a Dolphin Trainer for the Day- Roatan Island- Anthony’s Key Resort- Unique Resorts-

I was intrigued with the Dolphin Discovery Program at Anthony’s Key Resort, eager to experience their “Dolphin Trainer for a Day” class. After years of only taking photos of other people engaging in sports, I hesitated, “Why am I doing this?” But the trainers told me no experience was necessary. Curiosity won over my fears and I took the free taxi boat to Bailey’s Key Island. I walked down a long narrow pier only wide enough for one person. After transferring to a floating platform, the trainer gave me instructions. Hand signals are our way of communicating with the Dolphins in a language they can understand. We establish a Dolphin- human relationship. Each hand signal corresponds to a specific behavior.

First I must get the Dolphin’s attention by opening the palms of my hands, meaning “heads up”. The Dolphin immediately races to me and sticks its nose up out of the water. I learned the signals for jumping, spinning, moon walk, and kissing. After the Dolphin completes each task it is rewarded with fish. A large fish is the reward for a good job and conversely a small fish if they do not react well. I had to bend down close to the Dolphin in order to throw the fish into its mouth.

The most difficult behavior command was asking the Dolphin to jump out of the water just a few inches to where I was sitting on the edge of the pier. I leaned forward toward the water to shake hands with the Dolphin’s fin while it was in the air (See photo). It was a thrill to see the Dolphin obey my hand signals during these sessions!

Later I spoke to Assistant Director of the Dolphin Program, Bruce Plunkett, at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, inside Anthony’s Resort. He explained, “Training involves a lot of “behind- the- scenes” activities to understand what goes into their daily care. The Dolphin’s food is weighed to make certain they eat the correct amount of fish each day. Guests participate in sessions with the Dolphins and some classroom work as well. You get to ask them to do behaviors. Participants have the opportunity to spend an entire day with the training staff.” These sessions are more in-depth than Anthony’s 4 other Dolphin programs.

I have not found a Dolphin Trainer for a Day program at any other resort. It is a “hands on” one-to-one interactive Dolphin, trainer and you. I enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We did not have to wear a wet suit or special clothing, just a bathing suit or shorts and shirt. Roatan Island’s barrier reef brings calm waters to Anthony’s Resort and the weather is usually warm in Honduras.

Anthony’s restaurant embraces the mountain’s edge and is gently touched by the surrounding trees. Imagine a fantastic view of the lagoon, Key and Bailey Islands, and boats during breakfast, lunch and dinner! Chef George Mann creates tasty meals to match the atmosphere. Our favorite, his curry fish sauce, is a spectacular combination of fish covered with onions, peppers, celery, garlic, coconut milk and a lot of curry. You can really taste the curry! His menu offers a variety of selections every day. Anyone with health or dietary concerns can give them a food list and the chef will be happy to accommodate them. After working as chef on cruise ships around the world, Chef George learned their styles and knows how to prepare his version of cuisine from most of the countries he visited.

Anthony’s Key Resort offers: Dolphin Dive, Dolphin Snorkel, Dolphin Beach Encounter, Dolphin Specialty Course, Dolphin Trainer for the Day, Swim with the Sharks, Diving, PADI certification, Snorkeling, and other activities. Packages: Snorkel, Diving, Honeymoon, and Dolphin Summer Camp.

With all of this at your fingertips, their all inclusive price gives the full range of activities, 3 single tank boat scuba dives or 2 snorkeling boat trips each day, entertainment, and three all- you- can- eat delicious daily meals.
For information, call (800)-227-3483. Anthony’s Key Resort, Roatan Island, Honduras, Central America. www.anthonyskey.com

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