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Carol 202 | profile | all galleries >> Mexico Beach, FL, Underwater >> Sandy Reef 2002: Sailfish Encounter tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Sandy Reef 2002: Sailfish Encounter

The photos below were taken in 2002. I had a surprise encounter that I will never forget. We had caught a few mahi when I decided to slip into the water and see if I could photograph them. As I snorkeled behind the boat, I saw a large figure rapidly swimming towards me. Out of the blue came a sailfish in hot pursuit of a mahi. The fish did a complete circle in front of me before the mahi escaped over my shoulder. You can catch the action as the sailfish closes in on me, it does a complete turn, and then swerves away (thank God!) right before skewering me. Then the sailfish slowly swam around me 3 times before disappearing in the depths. At that point I returned to the boat to catch my breath. We returned to the same location a week later to find dolphins!
Hooked mahi below our boat
Hooked mahi below our boat
My first view of the sailfish, bill out of the water.
My first view of the sailfish, bill out of the water.
Sailfish chasing the mahi in a circle--mahi tail upper left of the sailfish
Sailfish chasing the mahi in a circle--mahi tail upper left of the sailfish
Sailfish
Sailfish
Sailfish as it misses me by inches--phew!
Sailfish as it misses me by inches--phew!
The sailfish as it circles me
The sailfish as it circles me
Dolphin a week later
Dolphin a week later
The dolphin
The dolphin