AROUND a dozen dolphins have been caught on camera putting on a spectacular show off the Bournemouth coast.

Lone sailor Michael Ellis captured the playful pod on his mobile phone, as he sailed from Christchurch towards Studland.

Recalling Wednesday’s encounter, Michael told the Daily Echo: “It was amazing, absolutely amazing. It was a lovely day, you could have been anywhere in the world – they were paying with the boat.

“They went along one side, then under the boat. It was amazing just standing there looking at them because you could see them swimming underwater as well.

“They were diving down deep and they were every quick.”

The pod crossed Michael’s path around 9.30am, and they stayed with his 30-ft motor cruiser, Sabona, for around an hour.

Michael, from Christchurch, explained: “I’d sailed out of Christchurch Harbour and had gone around Hengistbury Head, towards Studland.

“I was about a mile out, probably opposite Boscombe, and I saw this pod of dolphins. I’ve never seen dolphins like this before and I’ve been sailing a long time.

“I moved closer and closer and eventually they went around me, under me, alongside. I followed them all the way along Poole Bay into Poole, for the best part of an hour.

“There must have been about a dozen, but they were scattered all over the place. At one point eight or nine were surfacing at the same time.”

Earlier this year a solitary dolphin famous for travelling long distances was spotted near the Dorset coast.

Photos and videos capturing the bottlenose dolphin, believed to be Clet, were taken off Portland.

Clet, who is known for his distinctive scarring on his dorsal fin, was named by residents in Brittany in 2008, after he was caught following fishing boats.

Clet also hit the headlines in the past for showing aggressive behaviour towards swimmers off the coast of Ireland.