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Blue Planet

Memories of swimming with wild dolphins in New Zealand, in honour of the BBC’s recent series, Blue Planet II.

These are old photos taken with a dodgy 4MP compact camera back in 2004.

It was just off the coast of Paihia, in the Bay of Islands. We were a small group of three, plus a few others on board who couldn’t swim or didn’t want to enter the water.

I vividly remember the anticipation that we felt during the journey away from the shore; not knowing whether we would find any dolphins or whether they would want to swim with us. Thankfully we found a pod and they were very playful. We climbed into the water and they circled us and bumped our feet then swam away, daring us to chase them.

Once we had completely exhausted ourselves and climbed back on board our tiny vessel, the dolphins flirted with the prow and played in the waves beneath our feet. The dolphin pictured above turned on its side to get a good look at me while it was swimming along beneath the prow.

It was a stroke of luck to catch that moment on my potato of a camera.

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