It is always with excitement when I board the boat to head to the Revillagigedo islands because I know that every trip is going to have a magic sparkle that will leave a deeply positive mark, thanks to the amazing interactions we have with all kinds of sea creatures. This last trip was no exception to the rule! Diving in Cabo Pearce on a sunny afternoon, guests wanted to have a chill and relax dive close to the shallow cleaning station, where the reef is abundant with juvenile fish of all sorts: cleaning wrasse, jacks, clarion angelfish, blennies, and for the same reason, a preferred spot for mantas who like to hover in the shallow to get cleaned. As we jumped in, a giant manta, approx. 4 meters wingspan approached us and started hovering over the divers, slaloming between the bubbles, stopping right above our head, looking at each diver in the eyes and engaging in this ballet with the divers that make the interaction with manta so special in Socorro. As we were delightfully enjoying this special moment with the manta, a bottlenose dolphin showed up and invited himself in the middle of our dance. After a few loops and tail flipping and circles right in front of the divers, the dolphin just went to lay down on the sandy bottom right below us. You read well! just laying on the sand, like a sunbathing beachgoer! we dropped right by his side and for 30 minutes we were laying just centimeters away from the dolphin, while he was looking at us, sometimes waving his tail, sometimes turning from back to belly. Bottlenose dolphins are known for having these relaxing times by the seafloor, sometimes laying on the sand or reef, eventually swimming on their back along the bottom if they feel itchy to scratch something off their skin. It is a time of vulnerability for the dolphin, and also a socialization moment. That this dolphin decided to have his nap right there with us and staying still and in trust while we were taking photos/videos and admiring him, is something that truly enlightens a diver! This is a moment when you understand that humans as divers can be completely accepted and share intimate, vulnerable moments with underwater animals, that these beings feel the same curiosity towards us as we have toward them and that the interaction is actually shared with equal appreciation for both sides. To build this kind of relationship with wild animals, may they be giant mantas, dolphins, or whales, is a reminder that the living being underwater are highly social, curious, intelligent and in many ways are so similar to humans. Therefore they should deserve all of our respect, consideration, and duty to protect them.
- Mate Yann onboard the Gallant lady