It was the first trip to Gingiri for the season, three old hands, M, DJ and myself. Visibility wasn’t flash, around 10-12 meters which isn’t what we usually expect at the other reefs but this was still decent. We split off to do our own thing, DJ relaxing on the sand communing with the powers that be while I tried to (largely unsuccessfully) do some wide-angle photography.
Fail on wide-angle, mostly because I don't have a wide-angle lens
DJ taking a break
The dive passed quite uneventfully with a huge stingray being the highlight, though a highlight kept at a safe distance and we clambered back on to the boat ready for the interminable surface interval, necessary to ensure we did not die a horrible death due to decompression illness on the next dive. This surface interval was enlivened however by being surrounded by a number of dolphins, sadly none close enough to swim with and take a peek at.
Huge stingray, keep a good distance!
As we geared up for the second time, little did we know that the dive to Taprobane reef was going to be a life changing one. Again we spread out along the reef 20 meters down, M and I distracted by trying to photograph random fish and corals. I was trying to take a portrait of a shy fish model when I noticed DJ waving and pointing like someone possessed. Following the direction of his arm, all I could see was something blurry and white in the distance. This however slowly resolved itself into a pod of dolphins. Obviously the noise of our bubbles had alerted them to something new in the water and they had come to investigate.
The beauty was surreal, the pod moving sleekly through the water, at one with their element like I could never imagine. The pod remained at the outer reaches of our vision, 10-12 meters away but I swear I looked one in the eye as the dolphins gracefully pivoted and left us, their curiosity satisfied. As brief as that moment was, for mystery and the almost supernaturelness of the encounter it was most definitely one of the best moments of 2011.
P.S. Before anyone asks, we were all too gobsmacked to take photographs and visibility was too bad as well. We kept a lookout after our encounter but the messengers of Cousteau did not come back.
Keeping an eye out for a return