It was a perfect summer's day with blue skies and no wind.The Irish sea was like a gently undulating mirror. We were about 30 miles out from the Welsh coast in an area Known as The Celtic Deep, midway between the British mainland and Ireland. A shout from a lookout, a series of splashes on the horizon and we were soon surrounded by dozens of common dolphins, riding the bow-wave and swimming alongside and underneath the survey vessel. Several of the dolphins were accompanied by a calf and I was lucky to capture this group leaping out of the water alongside the boat. I think that this picture illustrates the grace and beauty of these wonderful animals and emphasises the importance of safeguarding and conserving the marine environment in which they live.