We have some bad news and a lot of good news.
To start with the bad news: we didn’t reach the amount of funding we had hoped for. However, almost all our backers have continued their support. So that brings us to the good news. The Dolphin Swim Club goes on! All wondrous events following the inspiration to make a Virtual Reality production about swimming amongst dolphins convinced us to go ahead!
And more good news: the two bottlenose dolphins that so magically appeared at the day of the launch of the Dolphin Swim Club at the front of the ‘headquarters’ in the Baltic Sea, are alive and doing well. They are slowly moving, visiting different bays and harbours, still delighting people everywhere with their presence. They now have their own Facebook Page: Kalmarsunds delfiner. Here you can find out about their whereabouts. People post their wonderful pictures and films, experiences and questions, as well as some discussions about the best way to interact with them. As of course, dolphins are not native to the Baltic Sea, so it’s new to everyone.
For the team of the Dolphin Swim Club, we had to make a rather difficult choice. We found ourselves in the middle of this miracle. Every day could be the last to see them. When would they decide to turn back to the North Sea? Time spent playing with the dolphins is always the best. That’s why we love to make Virtual Reality films in the first place, to share the magic. And the dolphins gave us beautiful wise advice: life is happening here and now!
So instead of managing the crowdfunding project from behind a desk we were out playing with the dolphins! Such an adventure! In the process, we have met wonderful people as well. We’ve been out paddling canoes with strangers, we’ve been dining and sleeping in the house of strangers and we’ve been handed coffee, homemade cookies and apple-pie by strangers. We had very special and wonderful conversations with such interesting and talented people. All these strangers soon became new friends.
All of us so fully aware of the magical times that the two dolphins brought upon us.
This sense of urgency to fully live life. Like flying out to Stockholm in the evening to be in a morning talk show for national television. Getting up at 4.30, being interviewed about swimming with them. Then to take the first flight back to rush to the bay for another paddling tour. Just for the chance to float in the sea, listening to the wonderful puffing sounds of the dolphins breathing and swimming nearby. To see a shimmer of a fin, lit up by a moonbeam.
By being the first person ever to swim with dolphins in the Baltic (probably), and by making underwater footage used by Swedish television, we managed to get a chance to talk about the Dolphin Swim Club in both Sweden and the Netherlands. This proved to be helpful in order to find a bit of additional funding for our dream. Other dolphin-lovers offered to donate their time and skills in order to realize the Dolphin Swim Club content. This is really helpful in order to lower the production costs a bit as well.
However, the final realization of such a complex production remains a costly business. And the project isn’t yet fully funded. Nevertheless we did decide to take a leap of faith and to go ahead.
Imagine you are a child living in a little coastal village in Sweden. One wondrous day two bottlenose dolphins visit your harbour and give a splashing show. The faces of these children, and adults alike actually, inspired us so much. Thinking about meeting the gaze of the dolphins underwater earlier that day, I made a silent promise to all.
When dolphins can travel thousands of miles into unknown waters to show up for the opening of the Dolphin Swim Club, we ourselves must certainly cover the whole distance. How amazing would it be to have this experience of dolphin magic available right in your smartphone or computer? Go swimming with the dolphins wherever you are.
In the meantime, we have interviewed specialists about using our footage for research in the treatment of patients. In the fields of autism, depression, childbirth, and also post-traumatic stress disorder. The reactions are very positive, so there is a good chance that the dolphin-magic may also work in these settings. And it is also in this area that we have found additional funding.
We have just opened up a webshop where you may pre-order, and find the same products as presented on the crowdfunding site. The date of delivery will still be around the end of the year.
We have booked a boat for the beginning of December to make the footage. The owners of the boat have supported the project as well with a generous offer and we will be 7 days at a unique location to capture the life and joy of wild and free dolphins. Due to their gift we have now four extra places on board available, in two duo shared cabins. Is swimming with dolphins your dream? Now there is a special opportunity! We invite you to share this unique experience of swimming with spinners and sometimes bottlenose dolphins in the clear aqua-blue tropical waters of the Red Sea. As well as sea turtles, all kinds of colourful fish and amazing coral reefs. Apart from the film crew, there will be a snorkelling/diving guide and a marine biologist on board. And not all that unimportant a great chef who will cook all our meals! There are several decks on board, so there is always space available to sit and relax after spending hours with the dolphins or take a mid-day rest.
Apart from that you will probably have the greatest time ever, you will also help us to realize the footage for the Dolphin Swim Club. We are so much looking forward to starting the next chapter of this project, which has been so full of magic so far.
A big thank you to everyone for all your support! I leave here with this very warm feeling of gratitude.