A club diving group could hardly believe their eyes when a dolphin decided to tag along with them for the entire duration of a September dive on the wreck of the Volnay, off Porthkerris in South Cornwall. The group of eight divers from the British Sub-Aqua Clubs Lincoln & District branch were on the last day of a weeks Cornish diving, and journeyed out to the Volnay aboard Porthkerris Divers dive-boat Celtic Cat.
The dolphin was in attendance even as the boat left harbour. Remarkably, it stayed with the boat for the whole five hours of the trip, Sarah Blight of Porthkerris Divers told Diver. When they reached their first dive on the Volnay, just five minutes from Porthkerris, the dolphin played with the divers on the surface for 45 minutes. It escorted each buddy-pair down the shotline before going back to the boat to escort the next pair. It was even playing with them on the seabed. Lincoln & District diver Daniel Taylor told Diver: We managed to snorkel with the dolphin prior to the dive, and everybody was elated. However, that was soon eclipsed as the dolphin followed each buddy-pair down the line on to the Volnay. The dolphin then spent three to four minutes with each buddy-pair during the dive, playing and generally distracting the divers, causing more than one buddy-pair to lose the wreck. The dolphin again spent time with us on the safety stops, which resulted in some very long stops!
Heading for Falmouth to refuel, the dolphin followed and, as the divers carried out a second dive off the port, the creature again visited each buddy-pair during the dive, entertaining us with its underwater acrobatics. As a club we have dived all over the world, and it was unanimously agreed that this one day was one of the best days diving we have had, said Taylor. Diving in the UK can be the best diving in the world, and this week proved it to everyone who attended. The dolphin had visited the area before but had not been seen for a while. It was already known to be very friendly and, said Blight, was easily identifiable by a big nick in its dorsal fin.
The fortunate Lincoln & District divers were Kelly Taylor, Daniel Taylor, Bill Owens, Rick Ranyard, Richard Croft, Di Eady, Bill Owens and Stan Day. The club celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Members are, said Daniel Taylor, very active, diving in both the UK and abroad. The club organises several British diving trips each year, of which it says that Cornwall is one of the favourites. For more about the club visit www.lincolndivingclub.co.uk