The Dream of Swimming With Dolphins

In 1998, I was at a conference that featured Marcia Weider, a “Dream Coach“. She asked the audience, “What is your dream? You need to focus on this dream in order for the universe to see what you want in order for it to be manifested.” At this point in my life, I had not read “The Secret” or even heard the word “metaphysical” or “laws of the universe”, etc.  Marcia also said to achieve your dream, you had to trust at a deeper level and therefore take greater risks. (as my Catholic mother would say, “That simply means you need to put your life in God’s hands and trust in Him”.)  Although, I love my mom, I liked how Marcia presented this concept and I had a new way of looking at it.  Marcia talked about seeing your dream in your mind and thinking about what that would look like.

Here is what I “dreamed” :

I have loved dolphins since I was a child and started thinking about swimming with them when a friend of mine went sailing in San Diego and they were riding the waves near the bow of the boat. I started collecting dolphin figurines and artwork. I also started to search to discover where I could swim with these majestic creatures. (Yes, these were in the days before Google and you actually had to ask travel agents and folks who traveled. Technology was not there…yet!)

Fast forward to 2005, when my husband and I decided to move to the Big Island. (talk about taking a great risk in order to get what you want!) I heard from friends that charter boat operators let you swim with dolphins in Kona. So, before we moved, I did a Google search (technology was just waiting for me to arrive) and found Dolphin Journeys. I still was intent on making my dream come true of swimming with the dolphins and I felt I was that much closer now to making the dream a reality.

Oddly enough, (or divinely inspired) I met the owner of Dolphin Journeys, Nancy Sweatt, at a church we were visiting two weeks after we moved to Kona. When I found out that she owned Dolphin Journey’s, I was shocked at my good fortune! I had the feeling of knowing she was there at the moment I needed her to be there. That has turned out to be  a common occurrence on the island!

Nancy invited me to come out and enjoy a boat ride “holo holo” (which means to go out, especially for a ride for leisure, in Hawaiian). So, I went on the boat with Nancy and a great friendship, as well as a deeper understanding of dolphins as both beautiful sea creatures and  how they communicate and sense humans, was born. Nancy invited me to work on the boat for a few months when I first arrived in Hawaii to earn some extra money. “I kept screaming in my head, “OMG! NOT ONLY DO I GET TO SWIM WITH DOLPHINS, SOMEONE IS GOING TO PAY ME TO DO IT!” .  And thus the dream, and a bit more, was realized.

Each time I have been in the water with the pods of Hawaiian Spinner dolphins, which can number in the hundreds, I always feel a sense of gratitude and  sheer joy. I have never had a dolphin come up and touch me or had an intense “spiritual awakening” in their presence, but I know that it has happened and Nancy has many stories of people receiving healing energy from the dolphins, as well. Captain Nancy is going to write a book containing her amazing stories from the years she has spent on the Dolphin TLC some day soon, and I hope to share it with my friends.

I am writing about the experience now, because I had a friend and her family visit us this past week. They chartered Nancy’s boat and invited me and my daughter to come enjoy the day with them. This time was different than all the other times I have ever been in the water with the dolphins. This time I had a camera! Nancy let me borrow her underwater digital camera. Again, technology had to catch up to my dream.

As soon as I got into the water, the first thing I saw was a dolphin heading straight at me. I was a bit flustered, because normally, we swim alongside them. I missed that shot as mommy dolphin veered away from me and I saw her baby following her. I can’t even tell you how beautiful it is to see the baby dolphins, too! I then took off towards a pair of dolphins that were swimming very slowly and took some pictures of them with gratitude still in my heart and a big dose of “YEEHAW” that I had a camera, too!

I took pictures of my friends swimming towards the dolphins, and playing around in the water, as well. What a trip it was as we had dozens of dolphins looping around us.  I kept thinking about the years that had passed since I first visualized my dream of swimming in the blue water with these amazingly playful animals. It might have taken me a bit longer than I thought to achieve the dream, but I needed to learn the deeper knowledge these creatures bring to their human friends. They are truly spiritual beings and if you tap into them at a different level, you know they are communicating with you. Nancy says she can talk to them, and I believe her. Everyday,  I continue to learn more about the energies and vibrations that surround us on this island. That’s when I don’t need to have technology to catch up..I just needed to believe.

Check out the video that Dolphin Journey’s took about a week before we went on the charter..this gives you a pretty quick and good idea of what it’s like to swim with the dolphins!

Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at and and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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  • Nancy Sweatt says:

    Thank You Julie for your beautiful description of the Dolphin Experience. The Dolphins just love you! It is amazing and I look forward to many more journeys together. Aloha, Capt. Nancy

  • CC Smith says:

    I was born an animal lover. I have always said I would one day swim with dolphins. They are such angelic creatures that GOD made. They are so smart, so loving. 27 years ago, I was blessed to live in Florida (for a year), and go out with a commercial fisherman who taught me which fish to toss. I got to feed those to the dolphins from the boat side! 🙂 What a BEAUTIFUL experience! I’ll never forget it! …last night I literally dreamt of dolphins all around me, I was petting them, loving them, they were loving it, and they were loving me. <3 I googled dreaming of dolphins, & it led me here. How BEAUTIFUL!!! I am soooooooo glad to read this, as I have dreams, & a new self awareness that I am growing into as well. Thank you Julie, for being an inspiration!!!
    A distant admirer, & fellow lover of dolphins, ~CC~