The deal is, you get on a boat, they provide snorkel stuff, and then the boat drives(?) to where they know there are usually pods of dolphins. When they spot a pod, they let you hop off the boat so you can swim with them. (or near them. Or actually usually quite far away from them because shockingly, dolphins tend to keep moving.)
Anyway, I've never seen a dolphin up close, so I thought it was extremely cool.
It took some persuasion to get him to try again, but he did it. We swapped out the noodle for a life jacket, ditched the fins, and went to an area where you could see the ocean floor. (It was super clear water.) Sam jumped in, stuck his face in, and popped right back up. "I SAW ONE! I SAW A DOLPHIN MOMMY!!!" It was, again, totally rad.
During one stop, our "driver" spotted a pod and stopped. Everyone (there were about 11 of us) jumped in and started swimming away from the boat.
I looked in the opposite direction and saw a dolphin jumping in front of the boat and headed towards it. When I started swimming, I realized I was surrounded by dolphins...they were just all below the surface. That's when I saw the mommy and baby swimming together in the distance. Very very cool. I wish I could have gotten closer but they were a bit ahead and swimming away from me.
For the last stop, we left the dolphins behind us and went to snorkel a reef near the shore. Since this area was relatively shallow, this is where Sam did the majority of his snorkeling for the day. He actually got pretty far away from the boat and looked at the reef and tropical fish with me. For a little while, he let me hold his hand and swim with him. It was fantastic day and that was the icing on the cake!
Saturday: We did some stuff.
We took a red-eye "home" through L.A.
It was a horrible flight.
It was delayed. Children were cranky. Bags were lost. Then found.
We finally made it HOME to San Diego on Sunday morning.
(More tomorrow. Or the next day or day after that...)