• Jean-Luc Tulliez

Immersion with dolphins in the Red Sea, October 2018

Mis à jour : 27 juil. 2019

On Saturday afternoon, we boarded the yacht, Saheen. We were a small group to embark on an extraordinary adventure: immersion with dolphins for one magical week at sunrise and sunset. Sunday morning, we took off to reconnect with nature. Thanks to our friend Captain Mahmoud, we discovered different lagoons, each one, more beautiful than than the next. The first day, we arrived at Dolphin House, where we met a pod of ten dolphins. After having accepted us, we were able to swim with them in a respectable distance so as not to be invasive and risk seeing them leave. Dolphins are curious creatures, they like to approach and play with us.

Back on the boat, we took stock of each student's freediving knowledge. Alexander taught the first theoretical course on physiology, safety and equalization. Late afternoon, we performed the first freediving session at depths of no more than 15 m, so that everyone would find their fluidity in the water depending on their level. Beginners were able to learn about apnea and tackle equalization. The days were as follows : in the morning, we started with a yoga session specific for the freedivers. Bluexperience has developed a flow of specific asanas to allow everyone to improve at his own pace, the flexibility of his chest, his technique of relaxation and breathing.

This week, unlike the others, we had different meetings with two mothers and their baby. We had special moments of sharing with them. The social life of dolphins is remarkably organized and hierarchical. Mothers with their children gather in a common nursery. Soon, the delphinium receives a proper name, its "whistled signature" that will distinguish it from all the other dolphins and allow the outside tribes to know his identity and his clan. The most developed sense in dolphins is hearing : they produce clicks and listen to their echoes to locate and identify the elements of their environment.

They use their sonar to capture the magnetic field of any living being. Their sight is also very developed in water and in the air. Equivalent to that of cats and dogs, it is adapted to the spectrum of low light and blueness of the ocean. Dolphins have amazing cognitive abilities and are often compared to some non-human primates like great apes. They master vocal and motor imitation, conceptual processes, mental representation and observational learning, among others. During their rest phase, they sleep with one half of their brain, closing their eyes on the opposite side. They are awake and sleep simultaneously, allowing them to constantly monitor predators, obstacles and group members. They are often active late at night to feed on fish or squid. Their joyous and peaceful presence surprised us each time differently, which made each meeting a unique moment.

After a busy day, we had a nice dinner and shared our personal experiences and revelations of the day. The evening ended by watching documentaries about planet Earth. The week ended with WSF RAID level certifications at depths ranging from 5m to 30m.

This was week of self-contemplation and discovery of the our beautiful marine world and its ecosystem. We especially thank our captain who has chosen the best sites for us as well as Alexandre for his kindness and his invaluable help on theoretical and open water courses.

A big thank you to all of you, Florent & Lydia, François & Caro and Céline for trusting us and bringing us your joy of living!

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