The most enjoyable wildlife videos aren't always produced by professionals, and don't always require top-line equipment - or even a steady hand.
The accompanying footage, for example, was shot by a 10-year-old Swedish girl while on a whale-watching excursion with Dana Wharf Whale Watching out of Dana Point, Calif.
Luna Linn, aboard the 95-foot Dana Pride with her parents, perfectly captured the magical moment two bottlenose dolphins leaped more than 15 feet and flipped next to each other as if in a choreographed performance.
"Oh my gosh, guys, that was insane!" the captain can be heard saying. "I don't know if any of you got a picture of that, but that was ... insane."
The cuteness factor is enhanced by Linn's commentary leading to the synchronized jump. "There's dolphins.... under the boat," she says, panning from the water to her face (selfie-style) as she speaks.
But when the jump occurred, Linn was spot-on, capturing the leap from start to finish, and the excited reaction of passengers upon splash down.
Carla Mitroff, A Dana Wharf employee who realized that Linn might have videotaped a special moment, reviewed her video and asked Linn's parents if they could use the footage in exchange for a free DVD showcasing the marine wildlife off Dana Point. Linn's 36-second clip was posted to Facebook last Wednesday and has since garnered more than 4,000 views.
"That was amazing to see live," Suze Dodd wrote in the comments section. "We were also on the boat but my camera wasn't in the right place at the right time! Thank you for posting."
Added Ken Edwards, "Wow, very cool. Better than SeaWorld."
There was also this from Eva Persson: "By a Swede, naturally!"
Offshore bottlenose dolphins are encountered only sporadically off Southern California, and they're spectacular acrobats.
But being in the right place at the right time to capture the truly special moments, on a moving boat, typically requires an equal blend of skill and luck.
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