Have Heart, Will Travel

We found Winter in Florida...and she is amazing!

Florida, AnimalsNancy PowellComment

If you have seen the movie Dolphin Tale, you may know the inspiring story of Winter.  Found by a fisherman with rope wrapped around her body and especially tight around her tail, Winter was taken to Clearwater Marine Aquarium to try to save her.  

This aquarium is a rescue, rehabilitation, and release (when safely possible) facility for marine life.  Although they saved her life, she lost her tail and had to persevere against all odds to learn how to swim again.  I recommend you check out the movie for the amazing story.

We had a great time going there with Petunia, her grandparents, and some good friends of ours who live in the area and met us there.  We were so glad to get to see Winter in person, along with her friend Hope, the star of Dolphin Tale 2.  Also spotted:  river otters, which must be among the cutest animals ever; sea turtles, and sting rays which we got to pet!

Here Petunia is holding one of 20 prosthetic tails that have been custom made for Winter so that she could learn to swim the right way!

Here Petunia is holding one of 20 prosthetic tails that have been custom made for Winter so that she could learn to swim the right way!

Petunia watchiing Winter and Hope play.  You can see Winter, swimming vertically, is missing her tail. She doesn't have on the prosthetic one all the time.

Petunia watchiing Winter and Hope play.  You can see Winter, swimming vertically, is missing her tail. She doesn't have on the prosthetic one all the time.

How cute is this creature?  I love the dolphin, too!

How cute is this creature?  I love the dolphin, too!

I am happy we got to see this aquarium on our current journey. We spotted it 4 years ago (when attending the wedding of the friends we went with) but didn't go on that trip. It is worth a visit!

Dolphins are amazing animals, and Winter is extra special for being such an overcomer.

Dolphins are amazing animals, and Winter is extra special for being such an overcomer.

Mark and our friend Jimmy are checking out special material formulated to go on Winter as her "sleeve" before the tail is placed on her.

Mark and our friend Jimmy are checking out special material formulated to go on Winter as her "sleeve" before the tail is placed on her.

They had a pool of sea turtles and yes, they looked just like Crush! Do you know who Crush is? 

They had a pool of sea turtles and yes, they looked just like Crush! Do you know who Crush is? 

This crazy pelican is a character in the movie.

This crazy pelican is a character in the movie.

Winter and Hope invite you to come see them in Clearwater, Florida.  If that's not in your immediate plans, check out their stories.