Flat Katherine and Winter

You may (or may not) recall that Flat Katherine was last seen in sunny Florida, strolling on the beach on New Year’s Day. Since then she has been hanging out with the grandparents of 3D Katherine in Clearwater, waiting for a particularly special trip.

Several months ago, 3DK, her friend and I all went and saw the movie, “Dolphin Tale,” which is basically the story about a rescued dolphin, named Winter, who learned to live without a tail and how this affected the people around her. 3DK was enchanted. After we got out of the movie, she said, “Clearwater, Mom! The sign said, ‘Clearwater, Florida!’ That’s where Nanny and Grampy are!”

A thought was planted in my mind and we knew right then and there where Flat Katherine was going next.

This is Flat K and Winter, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida.

Flat Katherine & Winter
Flat Katherine & Winter. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

3DK was positively giddy when she saw these pictures. I mean, after all, how many kids get to see their virtual selves with a world-famous dolphin?

Winter, Panama & Flat Katherine
Winter, Panama & Flat Katherine. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

Her grandparents took her on a full tour of the place and took dozens of photos and videos. I’m not going to put them all in here, but if your child (or inner child) loves sea creatures and you’d like to see the whole set and hear the trainers talk about the animals in some videos, drop by Bob’s Flickr set of the trip. There are videos and photos galore.

Winter & Panama (Belly Up)
Winter & Panama (Belly Up). Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

Here’s a neat little video of Winter and her trainer, with the tail in place.

Here’s a short video of Nicholas, the Bottled-Nosed Dolphin:

Her grandparents were such great sports about it all and took Flat K around to all the different animals.

Webster  & Cooper, River Otters
Webster & Cooper, River Otters. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

They even bought her lunch. Laminated, pocket-sized children don’t eat much.

Lunch with Flat Katherine
Lunch with Flat Katherine. Photo courtesy of Bob Taylor.

I think this picture of Bailey, the Green Sea Turtle (below), is my personal favourite of the set. But then, as you know, I have a particular partiality to turtles.

Bailey, A Green Sea Turtle
Bailey, A Green Sea Turtle. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

John’s folks watched the whole show, including the demonstration of Winter’s prosthesis and how it works.

Winter & Trainer
Winter & Trainer. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

There’s also a really neat display of the incarnations of the prosthetic tail, showing how much longer and more involved the development was in real life than in the movie.

Tail Molds & Models
Tail Molds & Models. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

They’ve also put together a neat display about the making of the movie:

Movie Scenes & Props
Movie Scenes & Props. Photo courtesy of Bob & Sylvia Taylor.

It looks fabulous. Flat Katherine seems to have had the whale of a time and 3DK was simply delighted and insisted on watching all the videos over and over. As I mentioned before, the full collection of the photos and videos that 3DK’s grandparents took can be seen on Flickr. If ever you should find yourself in Clearwater, go see winter and tell her Flat K says, “Hi!”.

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