At Play with Dolphins Toni and Reggae in Jamaica

I’m in the ocean lagoon at famous Half Moon, on the losing end of a water fight. It’s two against one and my playful friends have the unfair advantage of pectoral fins that splash so much water that I’m quickly swamped.  Is it my imagination, or are they laughing along with me? I’m instantly smitten by Reggae and Toni, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins who are the star attractions of the Jamaican resort’s unique dolphin experience.

Canadian Golf Traveller Publisher Sharon McAuley with Toni and Reggae (Image: Sharon McAuley)

Dolphin kisses from Toni and Reggae. (Image: Sharon McAuley, Canadian Golf Traveller)

The fun begins on shore, as the dolphin handlers lead our group through a backgrounder on the nature and behavior of these fascinating marine mammals. Lifejackets securely fastened, we swim out to the staging raft and slowly tread water while being introduced to our new friends.

We’re treated to a stunning display of dolphin speed and power, as Toni and Reggae swim circles in formation around our group and burst through the surface in a series of dives and jumps. They float over to say hello and we each take a turn wrapping our arms around their bodies, gently stroking their rubbery skin.

As our comfort level grows, we get a chance for more interaction — from “dancing” a shimmy-shake while holding hands and fins, to a friendly water fight, to receiving dolphin kisses on the cheek. But the highlight comes when Reggae and Toni — in a grand finale — use their snouts and powerful tail fins to propel me up and out of the water for an exhilarating ride. It’s so unexpected and thrilling that the move leaves me shrieking and laughing, and I’m suddenly a 10-year old kid again. It’s pure play, and it’s magic.


If you go:



One of the Caribbean’s leading resorts, Half Moon, A Rock Resort, is home to the Half Moon Golf Club, a lushly tropical parkland design by Robert Trent Jones Sr. opened in 1961 and renovated several years ago by Roger Rulewich.

Dolphin Experience

The Half Moon Dolphin Lagoon is available to hotel guests only.  There are different programs on offer, ranging from a beachfront encounter in shallow water for children and non-swimmers, to a program that lets you become a dolphin trainer for a day. Reservations required.


  1. Bob Pomerantz says

    I love this website–great variety of stories and good consumer info. I’m not much of a golfer–but good writing is good writing–and you guys have! Please keep up the good work. Particularly like Sharon’s non-golf pieces– like this issue’s swimming with the dolphins. Hey, Sharon: would love to read a story about haunted courses or their attached hotels/clubhouses.