Friday, 19 February 2010
One early evening many years ago I was floating in a small wooden canoe a few hundred yards off Brighton beach. It was fairly calm. I suddenly became aware of a disturbance in the water to one side and then to the other. Grey humps were briefly breaking surface 10 or so yards away and I realised I was in the middle of a pod of dolphins. I had just had time to feel a fleeting concern that I might be tipped over when one surfaced close alongside. As it did so it rolled slightly and a knowing mammalian eye seemed to look straight at me. For barely a second we had eye contact and then it was gone, as were its companions. A moment to treasure.