My Dolphin Adventure

Linda Chrystal writes: “My Dolphin Adventure” in The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter, issue Number 75, Winter 2012:


October 1, 2011: I indulged my longtime affinity with dolphins today as I drove to Clearwater, Florida, to personally visit Winter…the star of the movie, Dolphin Tale. She was only about three months old when rescued and now lives her life in the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Hospital. Even thought the movie took liberties and added new characters to the story, it is inspired by Winter’s true adventure of how she lost her tail by becoming entangled in a rope which was supporting a crab strap, in December six years ago…hence her name, Winter.

She has different exercises and therapies to help keep her spine aligned by periodically wearing a prosthetic tail. It is the only tail of its kind in the world, and the gel they developed for her tender skin, Winter’s Gel, is now used for humans. She has quite a following, inspiring many amputees and children with life challenges. Of course that is all in the movie.

Thankfully the Aquarium had extended hours until 7 p.m., so I could arrive well before closing. There was Winter…seemingly very happy in her tank, playing around with her rubber raft, a blue divers mask at the bottom of her tank, and with her surrogate dolphin mom, Panama.

Winter’s “mom”, Panama, is partially deaf, affecting her sonar, so she cannot feed herself in the wild. She, too, lives permanently in the Aquarium. Panama is about 30 years old. (One docent told me that dolphins can live up to 50 years old in this type of safe environment, as opposed to their average life span of 25 years in the wild.)

Winter had finished her public auditions for the day and was just resting in her enclosure. I was happy to see her in real life (after seeing the movie twice) and give her some loving energy. As everyone else, I would have loved to touch her, but she is kept well out of human reach.

Early on, I felt that my day was now complete, yet as thrilling as this was for me, I soon fell in love with a new baby dolphin named Hope. She is less than a year old and was rescued from the wild while attempting to nurse from her mother who had just died from a severe infection. Being hand-raised by humans, she will not have the survival skills needed to return to the wild.

Hope was swimming in the outdoor pool and deck area that was built for the movie set and which was donated to the Aquarium. Thankfully for Hope, the movie had wrapped only moments before Hope was rescued in December 2010…exactly five years and one day from Winter’s arrival…so she had an amazing new habitat ready and waiting for her.

Luckily for me, the director had built a lower level viewing window from which the underwater scenes were filmed. I went downstairs and found this private window and gently placed my Jin Shin Jyutsu hands (jumper cables) on the glass. Hope swam right over to me. She obviously felt the energy and pressed herself as tightly as possible up to the glass. With only a thin piece of glass separating us, she ran the full length of her body, first one side then the other, as cozily next to me as she could get. Hope even dove deeper and came straight up against the glass with her belly fully exposed to me so I could give her a good belly rub of energy. Many times she connected directly with me, eye-to-eye, as she rolled around, flattening herself to the glass that was between my hands.

This kept up for a good ten minutes until she was called away to show some of her new skills and learned behaviors to the last crowd of people arriving in the stands. I gave her a loving goodbye and tickled her tail with energy, which she waggled to me before she swam away to meet her topside trainer.

There are no words to describe the amazing sense of connection I felt with Hope. She made me want to immediately volunteer to practice Jin Shin Jyutsu (Energy Medicine) at the Aquarium. I did inquire, and no one had ever heard of doing anything of the sort. Dolphins, being so super-sensitive, would love daily Jin Shin Jyutsu. Since they didn’t hire me on the spot, I guess my best bet is to return to Treasure Island where a pod of wild dolphins recently swam within a car’s length of me. I’ll just keep sending the love.

Thank you, Linda.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, David.

Gassho, Namaste, Blessings

All issues of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyutsu Newsletter are available at



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