Dolphins can be a$$holes

Perhaps a further explanation is warranted.

I was down to around 800psi, others were low, and it was almost time to do our safety stop, if we could stay awake long enough from this boring dive. On top of that, Group 1 was coming from one direction and Group 2 from the other, so all divers were coincidentally in one general location.

Then we saw the dead dolphin, lying on his back on the bottom, around 90 feet deep. Except I thought I saw him slide into that position. So I thought about it for a moment and said to myself, “It’s a dolphin. I’m going down.”

The “dead” dolphin.

With a close eye on my air and bottom time, I descended to him, still unsure if he was alive or not. But as I was looking at him… he slyly opened his eye and glanced my way to see if I was watching. Then he closed his eye again and played “dead.” I swear I saw him smirk.

Did I mention that dolphins can be a$$holes?

Dolphin playing “dead”.

Pretty soon, everyone was on the bottom to see what was what. And with that, the dolphin opened his eyes, turned upright, seemed to start laughing, and now started making his way around the group.

The next 10 minutes were some of the most magical ones I’ve had underwater. I’m convinced this dolphin, roughly 9 feet long, was somehow acclimated to humans. He slowly and methodically made his way around our group while those of us with cameras snapped away. He nibbled on fins, he nuzzled against divers, he went up to take a breath, and then came down to do it all again. Here’s another way to look at it: For the first 35 minutes of the dive, I took 27 pictures. In the last 10 minutes with the dolphin, I took 59 more.

But that wasn’t all.

How can you top this? Of our 12 divers in the water, 9 came up in my area into Zodiac 1. The other 3 were maybe 100 yards away and just before they were going to surface and get into Zodiac 2… that’s when two adult Humpback Whales with a calf in tow silently swam on by them underwater. Holy crap!!!! Talk about a topper.

And all because a dolphin thought he was being clever and would trick the humans. What a magical dive and phenomenal way to end today.

Prankster dolphin playing and greeting divers.

Story and photos by Ken Kurtis
Onboard: Nautilus UnderSea, Socorro, March 11-20, 2022

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