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“My soul has been recharged AGAIN”
Review of WildQuest

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WildQuest
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 October 2011

I am forever biminized again. This was my third journey back to the island. As soon I got on the island I felt tears of joy filling my eyes and gratefullness filling my heart. Finally I was back at Wildquest! And the journey began beautifully unfolding from that moment on.

Wildquest has become a place for me to connect spiritually and heal. The entire team at Wildquest have cared for me in ways noone else in my life have. From the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep each one of the team members surrounds you with love, peace and joy.

I am not a strong swimmer, though during this trip I was able to snorkel and venture out further on my own to swim in the group. I felt very safe in the water, as a Wildquest team member was always there to swim beside me or help me to get back to the boat.

I spent indescribable hours with dolphins on this journey. I traveled to Bimini alone and left with a sister who spent the week laughing with me. I had not laughed so hard in 11 years, when a trauma came into my path. My soul feels recharged and full of joy.

Thank you Wildquest, especially my Amlas for this neverending gift of peace. I will be back again!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Gillian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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177 - 183 of 255 reviews

Reviewed 29 October 2011

I have dreamed of going back to the underwater sand banks north of Bimini since an encounter with a pod of spotted dolphins in the summer of 1984.

I was part of a treasure diving expedition searching for the fabled El Dorado, the Spanish galleon San Anton del Brazil that went down in 1551 with over 50 gold Incan artifacts that would be priceless today. One afternoon, the cook and I went for a recreational dive in about forty feet of water with typical Bahamian 200 foot crystal clear visibility. We swam up to the ship's anchor, and stopped to stand on the sand bottom to adjust our gear.

Just then, a pod of about a dozen dolphins slowly passed by from right to left, about fifteen feet and 45 degrees above us. I remember noticing the curious freckling of white and grey on the two alpha males that lead the gliding procession, followed by several smaller adults, some grey, some similarly mottled, along with a couple of juveniles and one baby towards the rear. We watched them drift by and slowly disappear in the blue distance, and turned to one another giving excited thumbs up for how amazingly cool it was to see them.

As we turned back to continue our dive, we saw two shadowy shapes emerging from the blue at our eye level. The two alpha males slowly drifted right towards us, and I remember thinking apprehensively, "There belong here, we don't." We froze.

They drifted closer and closer, right at us, their side fins almost touching, stopping still about ten feet away. Then, in a most amazing ritual, they slowly rotated in perfect unison, until their noses were straight up and their tales were straight down, with their white bellies towards us, side fins still nearly touching. They slowly reversed, rotating until their noses were pointing straight down and their tails straight up. They gently floated down towards the sandy bottom, tails up, noses down, until lightly touching the sand. Finally, they slowly rotated back to parallel, pointing straight at us, and, turning, with three powerful thrust of their tails, flew off into the blue in the direction of the others.

To me, this was clearly a ritualized show of some kind of dolphin diplomacy, as if to say "Greetings, landlings." This was my only dolphin encounter of the whole summer, but it changed my understanding of these magnificent fellow earthlings forever.

I tell this story because this clan of spotted dolphin, which some estimates put at about 150, is now recognized, thanks in large measure to the observations of the Wildquest crew, as a sub-species that is most interactive with humans in the whole world. And, as far as anyone knows, this behavior is seen only here near Bimini. The bottlenose cousins that also inhabit this area exhibit some cursory interest in interacting with human snorkelers, but it is the spotted dolphins that circle time and again in playful dances just inches away that make this trip an unforgettable thrill of a lifetime.

While these unique dolphin encounters should be on everyone's bucket list, Wildquest offers much more. Amlas and Atmos, the owners, have created a retreat center that fills mornings with yoga, breath work, meditation, massage, and energy work, punctuated with healthy, delicious meals with vegetarian options. The staff is kind and conscious in the highest and best way, and even the most novice and timid swimmers are given the support and guidance necessary to advance in skill and comfort with the ocean. Best of all, the twenty guests interact through a variety of exercises to become a human pod, mirroring the lessons learned swimming with the dolphins, and, by the time the week is over, many new friends are inevitably added to email lists and Facebook.

While on some weeks the dolphins show up nearly every day, our week was fraught with concern as each day passed with meager sightings and no interactions. Would we be one of the very rare weeks where the spotted dolphins are always somewhere else? In spite of the convivial camaraderie of fellow WildQuesters, the daily six hour cruises, as comfortable as they could be on the wide, comfortable catamaran, can be disappointing when the dolphin are elusive.

Finally, on the fourth day, we had some exciting cruising with some bottlenose that swam along with the boat, occasionally darting to and fro to a chorus of onboard ooohs and aaahs. Right towards the end of the day, we finally found a pod of spotteds, and followed them for quite a while, but the two baby dolphins seemed to be of greater importance to the pod than slowing down to interact with us, so we reluctantly turned back to port.

On the fifth and final day, we all were bracing ourselves for the disappointment of not swimming with the spotted dolphins on this trip, and Amlas offered yet another lecture on optimal dolphin protocol.

“I believe they can sense in ways that we cannot, and can feel our energy. If we are highly excited, I have seen them ride that energy away from the group,” she said. “If we are contained, peaceful, and simply being in the moment, they will mirror that energy, slow down, and come closer.”

I think we all felt the shift on the boat, and soon after, we came across a small pod of a couple of spotted dolphins. Following them along as they occasionally darted and jumped across the bow, they led us to two more, then several more, until we were now seeing the spotteds on all sides. We simply cruised along with them, observing with delight each pass, each jump, each tail flap, until they slowed down and started milling around.

“Get ready to slip in,” shouted Amlas, and after a flurry of grabbing fins and snorkels, we began an hour-long adventure that none of us will ever forget. Time and time again the dolphins passed through us, sometimes so close we would instinctively pull away to get some distance. When the dolphin pod appeared to move away, the crew dropped long tow lines with a dozen handles that we grabbed two on one. The boat pulled us gently back to the pod, and as we continued in slowly moving lines, the dolphins swam along, sometimes just inches away, circling and returning, seeming to enjoy observing us as much as we were thrilled to see them. I think we all felt a connection with these magnificent animals that convinced us all that humans and dolphins are really one great pod.

I would have to recommend that a WildQuest week should be at or very near the top of everyone’s bucket list.

Room Tip: The rooms right on the bay cost a little more, but are well worth it for the view and breezes.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BillVanArsdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2011

It is hard to express what my week at Wildquest means for me and did for me. After a few hours I was already relaxing..by the second day I was smiling and by the third I could not stop laughing. I felt bubbled up with joy and re-connected to my true vital self. The love, support and accceptance of the staff as well as the other retreat participants touched me and actually brought tears to my eyes. I shed layers of walls I had built as protection as they were no longer needed. I felt loved and was loving towards myself. The food was the most healthy and best food Ive ever eaten for day after day. Im home two weeks and I have continued to eat healthy and drink tons of water instead of the 8 cups of coffee I had been drinking prior to my trip. Ive given up starbucks in favpr of saving for my return trip 340 days from now that Ive already booked. My family and my collegues can feel a transformation that occured in me. Ive been loved by Dolphins, made whole, recieved their messages and remained open to recieve more. My body felt light and tingled as I absorbed dolphin energy. I became a stonger and more secure swimmer. I learned to snorkle. I swam with 1, 2, 10, 30, 40 dolphins for an hour or more. I was pulled on a line behind the boat through pods of their spotted pink bellies and looked into their eyes. I watched the sun rise and set. I fell asleep to lapping of the waves against the boat 15 feet from my door. I sung. I danced and I loved. Wildquest: Amlas, Atmo, Tara, Vijan, Sukama, Nippun, Terry and Jwala I feel blessed to have connected with you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me my life back. Love and Peace- Susanna

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled solo
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6  Thank Susanna F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2011

A beautiful song that says it all about Wildquest and the Dolphins of Bimini. A priveleged experience beyond words being welcomed by the dolphins into their home and learning life lessons from these beautiful and authentic creatures. Meeting new dolphriends and growing meaningful relationships with kindred souls along with with the love, kindness and generosity of the Wildquest Team - a fine example of teamwork and community life where each one has a role to play and a valued contribution to make. The beauty of the still ocean as the sun rises behind it is a gift to cherish and as for the full moon that rises over the ocean later in the evening is equally spectacular.
Thank you Wildquest and the Dolphins of Bimini for re-igniting my senses to even more of what is out there if we just open ourselves up and allow - I look forward to see you in October 2012 with some of my other pod members and some new ones.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the jetty and the ocean
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Joanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2011

If you're ready for it, the possibility of being with dolphins, in their own element and in close proximity to them, can be a life-changing experience, offering the extraordinary opportunity to have real contact with a benign, generous and loving intelligence and wisdom. I will never forget the wonder, awe and joy I felt at being privileged to have such close contact with them.

Whilst this experience was at the 'core' of the trip to Bimini, there is no doubt that the genuine, respectful kindness of the Wildquest team created a nurturing environment for all of us that made the whole week special. We were cared for in ways that felt both imaginative and unintrusive: the wonderful food provided for us, including really good vegetarian options, the yoga and breathwork that was on offer every morning and, above all, a collective generosity that was caring without being over-protective or too 'rules-based' - the freedom to sit on the edge of the boat, and swing my feet over the waves was such a delight! The team took care of us without being intrusive, and that's a delicate and skilful balance to maintain.

I would recommend it without reservation - and would love to join Wildquest again. And my deepest thanks go to the dolphins themselves.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank sue p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2011

For me a week on and in the water was sheer bliss. This was an incredibly nourishing and healing time for me. The Bimini energies, the water, the dolphins and the WildQuest team joined together in co-creating a week that will be fondly remembered. And, the food was wonderful! Thank you so much. I'm ready to go back for another week.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Jeanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2011

A trip that offered such a profound experience. There was so much positive excitement and energy shared throughout the week that it is hard to put into words. WildQuest offered a retreat that allowed for amazing connections both in the water and on land. The team is very warm, loving, and compassionate. I was unsure of the experience because I had fears of the ocean. However, I was able to conquer my fears with the help of the amazing encounters with dolphins and for the staff’s gentle encouragement.

It was truly a life-moving experience and I look forward to going back next year! The experience was perfect for me. The clean and well maintained accommodations, amazing food, time in the ocean making connections with the dolphins and time on the island with our human-pod was all well balanced. The yoga and meditation offerings (which are optional) really added to the retreat for me. Everything runs so efficiently and is well organized. The WIldQuest team is knowledgeable and truly cares about the dolphins and the environment. It is a very loving, fun and safe environment.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lori N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about WildQuest

Address: Porgy Bay, Bimini
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > Bimini
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Bimini
Price Range: £111 - £259 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WildQuest has been respectfully connecting with dolphins in the wild since 1995. We offer week-long retreats to swim with wild dolphins in The Bahamas. The WildQuest Retreat Center is situated in a friendly little fishing village, with a bayside terrace and a mooring for our catamaran DolphinQuest. Rooms are on the water and accommodations are light, airy and spacious with private bath and A/C. Food is fresh, healthy and organic where possible, including vegetarian, chicken or fish dishes. Our excellent chef caters to most dietary needs including vegan and gluten free. Each day on our week long retreats, we are scheduled to go out on our 41-foot catamaran DolphinQuest for some snorkeling at coral reefs, visiting the famous Atlantis Stone Road and of course meeting up with playful dolphins. Snorkeling and free diving lessons are included and all levels of aquatic skills are welcome. WildQuest provides a supportive and safe environment, both on the boat and on land for the optimum Human-Dolphin Connection. Other activities on offer are the daily yoga and meditation classes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
WildQuest Bimini, Bahamas

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