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A year on Planet Earth

Being in the middle of a marlin feeding frenzy can be a bit daunting. Invariably the visibility is severely reduced by bubbles caused when tails and bills cut the surface. In those situations the marlins might suddenly appear from behind a cloud of foam, coming at full speed focused on its prey, veering off at the last second if they see you, or not seeing you at all and passing unnervingly close. More worrisome still, they jump sometimes out of the water, flying a few meters before falling back like heavy blue missiles. While in the middle of one of these turmoils one marlin jumped out of the water, fell breathtakingly close to my face, saw me and in a fraction of a second turned brusquely to my right, passing so close that I could have touched it. These are big heavy animals. Had he fallen half a meter closer, well, I prefer not to think about it. We try to avoid putting ourselves gratuitously in danger but there is always a degree of unpredictability in what the animals will do, how a situation might develop. It is part of the job.

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