If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming with wild dolphins, this is THE place to go to: Wildquest!
(Video was done by my very talented friend Atmo, also one of the owners of Wildquest)
A Week with Wildquest: The Human-Dolphin Connection
Wildquest is by far my all-time favorite place to visit in the entire world! I’ve had the privilege of traveling to near and far places, but this place, on a small island in The Bahamas named Bimini, is where my heart lives!
It’s difficult to put into words what actually happens here during a week with Wildquest, because it is so so much more than just swimming with wild dolphins in their natural environment… it’s a life changing experience, a connection like no other, a spiritual experience, and I could go on, but these words will never justify the extent of what goes on here. It is absolute bliss in every sense of the word. An alternate reality. An out of this world and out of body experience. Communications with Divine source. All of it and more. Each person’s time there is slightly different than the next, and that’s what makes it so beautifully rich and inviting. It is home to so many without actually living there. A space of love and acceptance. It may possibly be Heaven.
So although words may fail to even come close to describing this place, I’ll certainly try my best so you, my readers, can get a glimpse into this magical spot and take the leap of faith and GO. Trust me on this: if anything is on your bucket list, this should be it!
Arrival In Bimini
A small charter plane will take you to Bimini from Fort Lauderdale… all the arrangements are made with Wildquest so you don’t need to worry about anything! Arriving by plane into Bimini is a beautiful sight! You get your first glimpse of the tiny island from the air, and when you land, you will be transported to a land far away (even though it’s only a 30 minutes flight over). The vibe is completely different and this can be sensed as soon as you step off the tiny plane! Friendly local faces as well as the owners of Wildquest will be waiting for you and the group to bring you over to the retreat centre! A little 10 minutes boat ride over, and you’re at your home for the week!
You’ll be assigned a roommate if you’re traveling solo, since the accommodations are double occupancy based as there aren’t an unlimited number of rooms available. I’ve always been with someone who I got along great with, so do not worry! You can opt to upgrade to a single room at an extra charge during the reservation process.
The accommodations at Wildquest are simple in nature, with an artsy flare, and are very comfortable and homey.
The rooms are equipped with the necessities you’ll need, such as a mini fridge, A/C unit, ceiling fan, full bathroom, towels, sitting area, etc. The rooms all have their own design, so no two rooms look the same. The room I was in during my last visit was a corner unit (see below images), which had a nice breeze coming through. There are also rooms on the waterfront with sunrise views every morning. A real treat!
The main house is where most things take place, such as meals in the downstairs area. On the upper level, there is the mediation room where group gatherings, yoga, breath work and the like take place. It is a beautiful space with windows, lovely artwork and imagery of the dolphins, crystals and stones, and just holds a nice space for these types of activities.
Once settled, a general gathering will be done up in the mediation room. We start with the name game so we can all learn each other’s name, it’s a nice icebreaker too! They will then go over important information, such as how the daily schedule typically goes, crew introductions and their individual duties, the sessions offered, and all the logistics. Once that’s done, off to the boat we go for our first day out on the ocean!!
The boat is a lovely catamaran called DolphinQuest… the name speaks for itself! Once onboard, the Captain will do a quick safety introduction of the do’s and don’t’s onboard the catamaran before we set off for a day of fun!
What A Typical Day Looks Like At Wildquest
The day usually starts off with a yoga class up in the meditation room for whoever wishes to participate. It’s a nice way to open up the body and prepare it for a day out at sea swimming in the turquoise waters! The yoga is usually a very gentle kind, nothing too rigorous, and as always, is optional.
Breakfast is prepared as a buffet style after yoga, and is self serve in the main downstairs kitchen area. It’s usually a variety of eggs, breads, fruits, yogurts, oatmeal and the like. On some days, waffles and pancakes are done, or even eggs made to order!
Lunch is also laid out buffet style right after breakfast, and everyone needs to pack their own lunch in a container that is assigned to them for the week, which is then taken onto the boat. Lunch is self-serve on the boat whenever one wishes to have it.
After lunch packing and before the boat departs, there is some sort of meditation that takes place in the meditation room. The ones I’ve participated in are The Quantum Light Breath, Chakra Sound Meditation, and sharing circles. All are amazing in their own way, and somehow relate to the dolphins energy! I won’t spoil the surprise, you’ll just have to see for yourself! 😉
There are also sessions, aka massage and energy work, given by two or three of the team members. They all have their own style of work they do, which is explained on the first day of arrival during the crew introduction and general meeting. The sessions vary from cranio-sacral work, to 4 hands massages, and there is a white board in the main kitchen where the times are displayed for guests to write their names down. All extra fees are charged at the end of the week on the final day, so no need to worry. On the white board theres also a space for clean-up crew. This space is all about communal work, so it is encouraged to signup at least twice for clean-up after meals, which is basically washing the dishes and tidying up in the kitchen. It’s also a great way to work as a team and get to know each other a little while doing chores!
The boat leaves around 11:30am every day, depending on the tides of course! The team monitors all the logistics such as weather, current, wind and tides to make the day as pleasant as possible. All the information is written down on a white board in the main kitchen area for all to be aware of. Safety is of course their main concern, and if conditions aren’t safe, the team will decide what the best option is for that day. In the 8 weeks I’ve been to Wildquest, we’ve only stayed back one day due to bad weather, so the odds of getting out on the ocean every day are quite high! Once we head out, the lookout for dolphins begins! In between dolphin sightings and swims, the crew brings unto some magical places around the Bimini islands; such as the Bimini road and three sisters. It all depends on the weather and ocean conditions, dolphin sightings and so on. Every day is magical.
Every activity is optional, and there is absolutely no pressure to participate or not. It is a judgement-free space and is honoured in every way. Some people choose to stay back and just relax at the beach for the day. It’s all up to you!
The beach near the house is absolutely breathtaking, and deserted: a perfect spot for a peaceful day!
Once we return around 6-7pm from a fun filled day out at sea, dinner is prepared by the in-house chef, Tara, and is always oh-so delicious and healthy. A variety of fish, pasta, and salads are the main meals served at dinner, where we all sit outside to enjoy! There’s also seating inside if one wishes to eat there. The menu is written out on the white board to liven up the taste buds!
The days are filled with so much fun, excitement, beauty, laughter, tears, silence, dancing, and lifelong friendships and bonds made! A perfect day in every sense!
Some evenings have sharing circles, where we sit in a group in the meditation room and take turns sharing whatever we want. It is such a lovely way to bond, and have a nice evening together. You can also opt to sit by the dock and listen to the water and just soak it all up! This is also the perfect spot to watch the beautiful sunrise in the morning with a nice cup of coffee or tea! The sun sets on the beach side of the island, which is a mere 3 minute walk up and over the little hill.
How Wildquest Interacts With The Dolphins
& What Is Expected From Guests
The dolphins are wild, and this means it is completely on their own terms if they show up or not. The ocean is very large, so when we find them it does feel like a stroke of luck… although I’m positive that they find us most of the time! The average of dolphin encounters are 4 out of 5 days!
The first sighting of dolphins are the most exhilarating! It is just so magical! They’ll come right up to the boat, and ride the bow. It’s easy to sit there, and is a great spot to connect with them above water! They love getting a free ride on the bow, and they’ll tilt sideways to look up. The water in Bimini is so clear, that it’s like looking through glass! Hearing the dolphins come up for a breath is a beautiful sound, and watching their agility in the water is quite the sight to see!
The crew onboard will watch the behaviour of the dolphins and see what they are up to before allowing anyone to get in the water. They’ll just observe them for a while to see if they are inviting us to swim with them! This is a crucial part of the experience, and Wildquest’s code of conduct around the dolphins is one of utmost respect to the environment and wildlife. This is a non-invasive dolphin swim: there is no touching them, no feeding them, or anything of that sort. As humans, we always tend to want to touch everything… I don’t know why we do that, it’s almost like we don’t believe it until we touch it. This is not tolerated and the reason behind it is clearly explained. We are not there to be an invasion of the dolphin’s space. We are guests in their home and their environment.
The team is extremely good at analyzing the dolphins behaviour and knowing when they are saying “yes, come play” vs. “nah, not right now guys”. Their body language is how they communicate, and the team is very intuitive in knowing this. Having the notion in mind that we are guests in their home makes all the difference in the types of encounters we will have with them. Dolphins are highly intuitive and very aware of intention… it’s almost like they sense the intention to want to touch them and they’ll move away before you even have time to reach your hand out. They are also very agile in the water, which humans are not, and there is no use in chasing them, in a second they can be gone. The key here is to just “be” with them. The ocean is very salty and therefore supportive, where no effort is needed at all to just float. Clasping your hands behind your back is a good way of saying “I’m relaxed, come say hello”, and they can get very close if they don’t feel threatened. Believe me, they get very close. So close sometimes that your eyes can’t focus.
Hearing their sonar and clicks underwater is also just as magical. It is simply amazing to be eye to eye with a completely wild dolphin… it’s like seeing a new world in their eyes for the first time. It is so magical and beyond words.
This etiquette around the dolphins is continued throughout the week spent with Wildquest. We become a family, working together, helping each other, supporting one another… and the dolphins become our mirrors and teach us valuable life lessons. There’s a lot of emotional stuff that happens, and I honestly don’t know why that happens. Maybe it’s because it’s such a safe space to be in. In today’s world, we are so pressured and judged by almost everyone we encounter, expectations run high in every day life, we don’t always take the time to sit down and breathe properly. That all changes as soon as you step foot on Bimini, in the water with the dolphins, or on land with all the lovely people. The Wildquest team is unlike any other you will encounter in this lifetime. They welcome anyone from every walks of life, from the young to the old, the broken to the sick, great swimmers and beginners, those with fears and anger, and everyone is welcomed with open arms and hearts!
It is a space like no other, from the lessons of the dolphins, the turquoise crystal clear waters, the deserted beaches, and the meditation sessions that mirror dolphin behaviour. It all ties in, without explanation or reason, it just does. It is a healing space for those who need it, and boy does it ever heal you!
I’ve always said that being in the presence of a wild animal is the most sacred connection you can have, as you cannot get any closer to the natural world than this. To me, it’s the closest connection and encounter to Divine Source that one can ever hope for. Some people get that connection from going to church – I get that connection though nature and wonderful encounters.
It’s Divine Source in its purest form!
There’s a magic that encompasses this very space, and it’s not just one factor alone.. it’s all of them together that merge as one.
In this busy world that we call life, we need to disconnect from it all and get back to basics. We need to remember to breathe, to be in the moment, to laugh and cry both at the same time, to feel what we’ve been ignoring all along, and just allow life to envelop us with it’s blessings. This is the core of what Wildquest does, and these are the lessons learned from the dolphins.
Do yourself a service, and allow yourself to experience this wonderful place at least once!
With that being said, I’ll leave you with this quote:
“On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
For more information about Wildquest, to get in touch with them, or to book your trip,
make sure to visit their site here.
I’d love to hear your experience as well, so feel free to get in touch with me anytime!
Travel well my friends!
Love & Light,