Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gypsi Smacks It Out Of the Park

Gypsi works with her trainer, Kelly Jayne, to perfect her back flip.
For a six year old, Gypsi’s athleticism is unbelievable. She has the best back tail walk out of all of the dolphins, dives higher with each day, and is mastering new behaviors that dolphins are taught at an older age. Being the daughter of Tursi, our Flipper daughter, and Rainbow, a jock of a dolphin, it’s no surprise that Gypsi enjoys staying active.

The newest behavior Gypsi has begun to learn is her back flip. To do a back flip, a dolphin flies out of the water, does a somersault, and completes a full 360 turn. Each of the dolphins at Dolphin Research Center, that knows how to do a flip, has put their own spin on their back flip. Some fall back into the water face first, while others lead with their tail. It’s interesting to see how each unique dolphin does the same action.

Gypsi, who takes after her athletic parents, loves to give every new endeavor 110 percent. With her trainer, Kelly Jayne, Gypsi always works hard when it’s time to practice back flips. They’ll try it from different areas of the lagoon, and various heights.

At the beginning of a session, Kelly Jayne stood on the sea lion boardwalk, which is several feet higher than the dock. She carried an extra long target pole with her, which Gypsi uses to determine how high she needs to get out of the water to do the entire turn by smacking it with her tail flukes. From the boardwalk, Gypsi had a bit of a hard time reaching the target. Kelly Jayne gave her several attempts to reach the target pole from that height. Then, they moved over to a lower dock to continue the session.

As soon as Gypsi saw Kelly Jayne reach the target pole out over the lagoon, she knew she was going to hit the target. She was given the hand signal for back flip, dove down into the water to gather speed, flew out of the lagoon, and smacked the target pole so hard it flew out of Kelly Jayne’s hands. As the bar took to the air, Kelly Jayne raised her arms over her head to make sure it didn’t hit her as gravity pulled it down.

Once it had safely returned to the ground, Kelly Jayne and the rest of her audience laughed intensely. Gypsi had decided she was going to get the target pole and that’s exactly what she did! Yet again this little one proved that her determination goes far beyond any behavior.

Gypsi still has work to do on her back flip, but we’re certain she’ll have it down in no time. This little girl doesn’t give up. If she continues to take after her parents, Gypsi will amaze people with her agile body and perseverance for a long time.