BY AMIR BAHARANI - 9 YEARS OLD - SINT MAARTEN
It was the night before the catamaran trip, and I was so excited! I had already finished packing the day before. I could see the Moon on the ocean and hear the waves crashing on the sand. It was as peaceful as during and just after the pandemic. I will never forget what my family and I experienced the next day.
During this period, the environment was so clean. There were no plastic bags flying around or beer bottles on the ground. The water was crystal clear and a beautiful turquoise blue. It was so clean that the animals were coming closer to shore.
I woke up the next morning and took all my stuff with me, including my huge blanket, and we were off. We arrived at the dock where we met the captain. He took us to the catamaran on his dinghy. After a nice breakfast, we sailed off to Cradle Rock Island.
On the way, I dropped my snorkeling goggles into the ocean. I was sad, so I sat on the bow by myself. As I stared into the sea, I saw two fins pop out of the water. The captain slowed down to look, and we realized there were dolphins circling the boat.
My brother and I got so excited that we jumped in for a closer look. The next thing I knew, my mom and dad jumped in, too, and we were all swimming with dolphins in the wild. They played with us for 45 minutes. One of them swam through my legs and touched me. The dolphins were jumping in and out of the water and swimming around us playfully. It felt amazing. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Back on the boat, all we could talk about was the dolphins. The captain said he'd never seen dolphins swim with people like they did with us in his whole 25-year career.
The next weekend, we went out in our fishing boat. To our surprise, the dolphins came back, hopping in and out of the water in our wake. One dolphin almost jumped into our boat, leaving my goggles behind. I couldn't believe that the dolphins had brought back my goggles! I was so happy and surprised to see those beautiful mammals again.
This experience only happened because the water was so clean. I realized even more how important it is to keep the ocean and the environment clean.