Friday morning there was a story on their local news alerting the area viewers that the movie so many have long-awaited, Dolphin Tale 2, would begin filming on Monday, and that public weekday visits would cease until the film wrapped in about three months.
Those of you who are following this Blog may have already read the two prior stories here about Winter the Dolphin.
Her tragic, yet ultimately amazing story, has affected and inspired legions of followers and dedicated fans all over the world, so just before we turned to go North and head for home yesterday morning, we decided to make a slight detour and go to see the place where it all happened just a few short years ago at the Marine Aquarium in Clearwater.
Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by many friendly employees whose only purpose seemed to be to make us feel most welcome to Winter’s World.
After parking and getting Breanna out, we started making our way around the huge area that was already filling up with eager visitors.
Even though the entire area is being transformed for the film, the constant din and hum of man and machines, does not deter any of those who came to see the Dolphin whose life story has shot like a comet around the planet.
The guests arriving for the day, included some physically challenged children and adults as well.
Winter’s story of overcoming unbelievable obstacles, has influenced others who face similar ones, to come and see her for themselves.
They seem to be compelled to see her in person, maybe just to be sure that she really does exist other than just in a movie.
When we asked about the cast and if the original one was kept, we were assured that they were and in fact, we were told that Harry had just been there yesterday and had already taken a swim.
After taking our pictures in various places and talking to the courteous staff about the film, we were told that we could find Winter mementoes to take home at their gift store downtown.
It was getting hot by then and of course Breanna could not go inside the Aquarium, so we left to go take a look.
Clearwater is such a beautiful town and it is doing its best to show off its local superstar with hundreds of banners on every light pole in town announcing the exciting event about to take place there.
The gift store in downtown did not disappoint, it was filled with countless memories of a day at Winters’ World, as well as a continuous running of the film and a tour guided mini-adventure inside the building.
The gift store is a “ must see “ for any truly devoted Winter fan.
So, can one Dolphin really make such a difference in so many lives?
Why not come on down to Clearwater and ask all of the people who still continue to come here to see Winter.
Those who make the pilgrimage here are drawn by the strength and courage of a creature they have never met, one who overcame a crippling injury against all odds, and has not only survived, but has thrived and ultimately inspired others to believe that if she can do it, so can they.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium can use all of the financial help it can get and your visit to the Aquarium and purchases at the gift store help to support and maintain the wonderful work that they do for the many creatures that are cared for here.
Welcome to Winter’s World~