For most people wanting a close-up encounter with dolphins swimming in a turquoise blue sea they have to travel to some far flung place like the Caribbean.
But one group of nature lovers only had to journey a few miles off the south coast to enjoy the same experience.
In bright sunshine and crystal clear water off Lyme Regis, Dorset, a huge pod of about 100 common dolphins put on a majestic display.
They swam up to the bow of the tourist boat and played for over 20 minutes while feeding on sprats.
And with the sea like a mill pond it was possible for the group to sea the mammals well below the surface.
Professor Tom Brereton was leading a Naturetrek marine wildlife safari when they encountered the large pod in Lyme Bay.
He said: ‘It was an exceptional day because the water was remarkably blue, crystal clear and smooth. It was also very warm, with a temperature of about 22C.
The 100-strong pod of dolphins were spotted by a boat load of tourists who caught the incredible scene on video
‘Such days have been hard to come by in recent years in British waters.
‘We could see normally elusive harbour porpoise’s swimming underwater at considerable distance, which none of us had ever seen before.
‘They are so hard to see because they are the smallest species of dolphin, about 4ft long, and normally you can just see their dorsal fin pop out the water.
‘The highlight in the middle of Lyme Bay on the French Banks was seeing a large school of around 100 common dolphins.
The dolphins swam up to the boat and played there for twenty minutes. The magnificent day made them incredibly clear in the bright blue water
The majestic creatures are a European Protected Species and used to be referred to as the ‘puffing pig’ because of the sneeze-like puffing sound
‘The dolphins came to ride the bow of the boat and because the water was flat, like a mill pond and crystal cl