Saturday, October 24, 2015

Humpback Whales - From the Boat

I had thought that on our trip to Tonga to try and swim with humpback whales, there would be great opportunities for photos from the boat.  With two groups of snorkelers, and only one group in the water at a time, I had imagined that when I wasn't in the water I'd be taking pictures.  This turned out to be pretty much folly.  For one thing, you have to get ready to get into the water very quickly, and very often.  It's hard to get out of the water, get your camera out, and then get a shot before you're going in again.  When the whale is down, there is nothing to see - when the whale is coming up, you're getting ready to get in the water with it.  So, in the end - I have VERY few shots of whales from the boat.  Here are the few I managed, most with my small, cheap Panasonic Lumix Z19.

We saw a young baby breach more than a dozen times.  I didn't have my camera with continuous shots and it was at a distance - I managed ONE far away capture only.  The dot is a baby breach!

 

This is a guide in the water giving the signal that he/she has found the whale.  Now 4 snorkelers will swim out to the guide.  As you can see, you can get very close!


A mother whale's pectoral fin compared to a boat - as you can see, she's huge.

 
 

Several times, a baby was lifted up by mom's nose when breathing.  I never really managed a shot of it - but here at least you can see both mom and baby.

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Another nice pectoral shot
 

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