In September 1992, National Geographic Magazine featured Flip Nicklin's now famous photo of a rare spotted dolphin, then just a calf, swimming in the waters off the Bahamas. The image, much like the magazine's "Afghan Girl" cover, helped put a face to a burgeoning crisis.
Twenty years later, wildlife photographer Brian Skerry set out to find that iconic dolphin, named Nassau, in hopes of adding a new chapter to her story.
With the help of biologist Dr. Denise Herzing, who studies dolphins in the region where Nassau was originally photographed, Skerry spent days aboard a research vessel in search of the cover girl dolphin -- learning in the process that the "crisis" reported on decades earlier might still be underway. For the first time in thirty years, dolphins in the Bahamas had been moving away from their usual hunting grounds, moving farther out to sea in search of food.
Skerry, writing for National Geographic's PROOF series, describes the moment when he finally happened upon the cover girl dolphin: