Yesterday afternoon I took my boy to check out a new place in Jakarta that was offering Dolphin Therapy. Located just beside the North entrance of the Ancol complex is the Institute of Marine Biology. Next to it is a building called Balai Samudra. On the ground floor of that building, just four months ago, a group of four physiotherapists set up a small center where they handle consultations prior to sending people in for dolphin therapy. They also offer the service of regular therapy to their clients. The office is small and nothing fancy at all but the therapist we met seemed knowledgeable enough.
After consultation we headed into the Ancol complex. It costs a bit of money to get in but once you sign up with the centre they give you vouchers to enter not only the complex but also the Gelangang Samudra, which is a dolphin park type thing, not to be confused with Sea World. The GS Park is a little run down but one can see it was quite an attraction when it was built about 20 years ago. We had to walk pretty much all the way through the park to get to the place where they had the therapy sessions. It was a small indoor coral where old dolphins were retired and new ones trained. On the way we passed some dolphin and sea lion shows.
The area we entered was enclosed so there was little direct sunlight and there were 3 dolphins that moved freely between three pools that had doors between them. I met the therapist Abdul who spoke very good English and he explained to me the benefits and procedures of dolphin therapy. Although he seemed young, I felt he really knew his stuff. I also met with the dolphin trainer and of course the dolphins themselves. They informed me that the water was cycled 3 times a day and marine biologists checked the water 2 times a day. It was all salt water and the pools were pretty deep.
I lived in Hawaii for three years but I never touched a dolphin till yesterday. I saw a herd of dolphin swimming past spitting caves once and I have seen numerous whale dances all over the island. I even encountered a turtle face to face once on Kailua beach, but I never got up close with a dolphin. I thought the skin of the dolphin might be a bit rubbery or creepy but surprisingly it felt just like wet human skin, just without the hair. I sat by the edge of the pool with my feet in the water playing with the dolphins, throwing the ball out that they would bring back to me. There was one dolphin in particular that was exceptionally playful. She had only been brought into captivity 3 months ago. While the others only came up to be petted every once in a while she spent the whole time swimming around me and rubbing against my feet. She was as playful as a puppy. They made the coolest sounds and I got pretty damn close to jumping in the water. I tried not to give much thought to the fact that were trapped here and the conditions were probably not the best but that is something I could not have any control over.
So all this hanging out with the dolphins got me thinking, which as I have mentioned before is a very dangerous past time for me. I am stupid when it comes to science. I was never a good student in school and all I really know about animals is what I watch on discovery. But I noticed a few things. Whales, dolphins, and sea lions all have horizontal tales that they wave in a up-down motion to propel forward where as all other fish I have seen, including the shark, have vertical tail fins that swing side to side. So only the mammals have the horizontal ones. Now the mammals also breathe oxygen and do not have gills. They are pretty much like land animals. So if we except Darwin’s theory of evolution then we all started off in the water and then evolved to be land dwelling animals, then all life started as fish and slowly evolved into amphibians, reptiles, birds etc… I mean I have seen on discovery that there were reptilian birds at one time, like the Pterodactyl. So then dolphins, whales, and sea lions, were fully evolved land mammals that spent so much time in the water that they took they direction in development that they have, back to the sea? Is it possible that dolphins are further evolved than us? I tell you, looking into their eyes yesterday I felt a strange tranquility come over me. It was not like looking into the eyes of any other beast.
Their speech pattern is way more complex than ours apparently and they seem to be living more harmoniously than us. Their voices sounded like a modem sending information. Imagine if we could understand the sounds frequency that the web based information is transferred on. Would that mean that if we listed to the beeping we could conjure up the same information our monitors display for a website in our heads? Can dolphins do that with the way they speak? If that were the case and I wanted to describe a house to you, I could pretty much give you the exact picture in your head, with all details and colors to the T? Anyone following me here? I think I have given my self a headache. I am not sure if I am even making sense anymore. It’s Friday so I am going let this madness rest. Have a good weekend and happy fuck faces to all of you.