The clear water and angle of sunlight is now giving us remarkable dolphin footage, our best-yet underwater shots. Eye-to-eye shots that make me feel I’m connecting with soulmates. We hear their squeaks and see the bubbles streaming from their blowholes as they dolphin-talk about us. I have seen dolphin pods a lot bigger, but this one is tight.. Maybe that’s the way they like it here. And no cookie cutter shark marks seen! Not one round bite hole and no scars. I thought it odd, but maybe there’s a right pod size less attractive to those cookie cutters. Or maybe it’s where they go to feed?
It is now close to 9:45 am. Wayne and I talk about feeling so very satisfied— that we had “scored” so remarkably, that we could head home to Kauai right now, knowing we had come beyond expectation. We had barely finished that conversation when we thought we had two sharks on the surface, side by side and heading straight to us. Red alert! Get the camera back into the water! (I have no problem telling you sharks give me the creeps—Thank you Peter Benchley!)
So you can understand how pleased I was that the two shark fins turn out to be the twin wing tips of a giant manta ray instead. A bigger than average individual with wings about 7 feet across. With mouth wide open, it approaches, skimming the surface for breakfast.
I’m always thinking: of getting the best shot. But the clock always ticks away. Time is the enemy, so rush to capture the magic moment! Adrenalin sets in. But anything can go wrong. I have had the experience of putting the cameras in as humpbacks battle round the boat, and we thinking we’ll be photographer heroes—only later to find we were never on. Then comes the gut wrenching feeling of photographic zero.