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Friday, September 12, 2014

Radar Takes Over the Blog — Part Two

Recently Radar, the Sea TREK guru, took over our blog and talked about his experiences in Sea TREK training, set up and his travels throughout the last 15 years — ending with his trip to Grand Cayman to set up Dolphin Discovery’s new Dolphin TREK program. If you missed it, read the post here.

Radar is our resident comedian, and we miss his office antics when he’s traveling abroad— but we love to hear his stories when he returns, and now we are sharing them with you!

Most recently Radar set up Dolphin TREK at Geoje Sea World on Geoje Island, South Korea. He shares…

“After I arrived in Busan, South Korea I was taken by car to my hotel. I accidentally dozed off in the car because I had been flying for 24hrs and it was 10 o’clock at night. I woke up to laughter and my driver joking that ‘Nicolas Cage’ fell asleep… My nickname was ‘Nicolas Cage’ the rest of the trip.”      
Radar is on the left

“Busan, South Korea looks very western — the roads and the buildings — but the landscape is more extreme. Cliffs, tunnels, bridges and mountains are more dramatic. Geoje Island used to be a small village, and retained that feel even with Geoje Sea World.”

“The craziest thing about the cultural differences was that I could not get any beef! If I wanted beef I would have to travel very far and pay a LOT! Even the nearest McDonalds was 45 minutes away, and I do not know if they even serve beef!”

“We mostly ate rice, vegetables, and fish, and when we ate we took our shoes off, and sat on the floor.”

“The trainees were very successful, motivated, well-traveled, young people. In Korea they count ages differently, adding on a year — counting the time before they were born— and another year when the ‘New Year’ starts. The trainees were telling me they were between 21 and 23 years old, but in relation to the way we think in the U.S. they are between 19 and 21.”

“Geoje Sea World is a unique location for Sea TREK because it is not in an aquarium. The Dolphin TREK is an experience offered in addition to the shows and encounters. The dolphins and trainers are very relaxed. The pace is different.”

“The biggest challenge was the language barrier. We used a lot of hand signals, drawings, and it took time and patience to make sure that everyone understood exactly what they were meant to do.”

“My favorite part of the trip to Geoje was the belugas. I would walk over to their enclosure and they always came up to say ‘Hi’ to me. I eventually figured out that they didn’t really like me they just thought I had food for them, but they were really cool!”

“On the last day, as my driver was taking me back to the airport, we almost ran out of fuel. We stopped to fill up, and realized the car took propane. We had to drive way out of the way to find a station that had propane, and I was going to miss my flight... Somehow that driver took some tricky back roads, and I was 20 minutes early to the airport!”

“The trip was really quick; I usually get to spend more time with the trainees, but I got sick. I look forward to getting to spend more time next time I visit Korea.”

I hope you enjoyed reading about Radar’s adventures as much as we love hearing about them. Look for the next in the series as Radar sets up Sea TREK in Sanya, China at WuZhiZhou.