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An Irvine resident manages to capture a remarkable snapshot of a dolphin in the waters off of Dana Point.

When
10AM
5.3.14

Where
Just off the Coast of Dana Point

Pirates believed that dolphins swimming alongside their ships brought good luck. Indeed, there’s no denying the effect these marine mammals have on a boater at sea. They’re majestic, and they seem to flirt and tease and play with you. Then, just when you’re about to take a photo, splash—they dive under water. That’s what makes this picture snapped by Jeff Bray so remarkable. The Irvine resident—who was on an eight-hour bird-watching boat tour out of Dana Point—managed to capture such detail. It almost looks like the dolphin is smiling—it’s a bottlenose, after all. “We saw dolphins two different times while we were at sea. They came right next to the boat,” he says. “It just seems like they were playing—jumping out of the water, diving together. It was a thrill and an experience that’s hard to put into words. They look happy. It seems like they really understand that we’re there and we care for them.” And that’s enough to make us smile.