Striped Dolphins

Striped Dolphins Anguilla
Stuart Wynne 21st June 2016 No Comments

Striped Dolphins seen in the Seal Island Channel, Anguilla.

Welcome to this new gallery blog of photographs taken by me. This image was the first one I posted on my Instagram feed @sea_anguilla. The inspiration behind this feed has now broadened in scope as I look to new horizons and would also like to feature images not taken in Anguilla or even ones that have little to do with the ocean realm. As the weeks pass I also plan to manipulate many of my favourite images and feature them as prints available for purchase to those interested.

As for this image, this was my original Instagram description: Striped Dolphins seen in Seal Island Channel. Hundreds were in the area, a truly amazing sight. There were also a few large sharks in attendance which was a little more daunting!

The photo was taken a number of years ago, and an extremely memorable experience. Few have topped it since then actually. It was one of those dead calm glassy sea days and we were returning from Prickly Pear Marine Park after conducting mooring work there. Shooting across the perfect sea I suddenly noticed that all around us, as far as the eye could see in all directions, were the fins of a pod of Striped Dolphins. I motioned to the boat captain to slow to a halt and we all looked around in wonder. Never before had I seen so many, there were literally hundreds. Seeing dolphins in Anguilla isn’t particularly rare, they can often be seen in small pods around Prickly Pear itself, or off from Crocus Bay in the calm shelter of Flat Cap Point. But not in these numbers. I quickly put on my mask snorkel and fins and jumped in with my camera. The dolphins were zipping around me in all direction, breaching slightly and diving back down, in small mini-pods that remained within audio contact with the others. I am not sure if this was a migration event or just a massive party, but they did seem to be moving in steady general southerly direction. After about five minutes they gradually moved off and I was left alone in the water….or so I thought. In the corner of my eye I saw something, way down in the blue. A massive shark. Realizing that I was not alone I remembered that I was probably swimming around in over 200 meters of water and this shark was not alone. From this distance I couldn’t tell what species it was but its large pectorals and relatively heavy body resembled that of an Oceanic Whitetip. With its reputation for being first to arrive on the scene when ships run into trouble, and knowing that oceanographic researcher Jacques Cousteau described the species as “the most dangerous of all sharks” I decided not to stick around. I returned to the boat and enjoyed the rest of the glassy trip back to mainland. An amazing experience.

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