Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin Sunset Play
The Day Before Thanksgiving - Part II

Continued from the post: Trophy Mahi Mahi - Dolphinfish Bull 37 LB 1 Hour Fight - The Day Before Thanksgiving - Part II.

After all the excitement of catching the trophy mahi mahi, we cruised down to south in search of calmer water and tunas because the gusty north east Trade Wind messed up the northern fishing area where we were. We checked a few buoys cruising long distance but nothing much was happening. Soon we realized how late it was already, and decided to call for the day. We looked at our proud mahi mahi again and took more pictures with the sunset behind. "Damn! He was huge!"

My buddy and I were in a hurry trying to get home before the sun set, so that we could wash the boat under daylight!. A small dolphin suddenly showed up leaping toward the bright sun. And then, another one, and another... Pretty soon I was surrounded by hundreds of pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella attenuata.

pantropical spotted dolphins, Stenella attenuata, juveniles and baby, doing synchronized jumping out of boat wake at sunset, Kona, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

They seemed very excited about the arrival of my boat and welcomed us by bow-riding, wake-riding, and showing off their signature high leaps against golden sun. What a beautiful moment. I couldn't resist taking my camera out of the Pelican case and started shooting them as everything started to glow under purple-orange fluorescent light. Known as the sunset golden hour for photographers.

Shooting from a rocking boat at sunset wasn't easy, but luckily I was able to capture a moment when four young dolphins jumped out of the boat wake all at once. This dolphin shot would become one of my signature pictures of the dolphin for sure, and also was totally worth my effort of washing the boat in the dark ;-)


  1. Beautiful shoot! They are so shining because of sunset. Looks so cool and glorious. Thanks for such nice picture.

  2. Thanks for your kind comment. Dolphins are such playful creatures and always fun to photograph. It's challenging to photograph wild dolphins offshore but truly rewarding when I get a shot like this.

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