Marine Critters: Marine mammals
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Humpback Whale

The sound of whale song radiated clearly through the aluminium hull of the boat. Moments later we were in the water.

Once I removed my eye from the viewfinder just how close the whale was became clear. My wide-angle lens allowed a sense of detachment below the surface but now that we had surfaced he seemed too close. He blew and I was covered in a cloud of spray and condensation. The proximity was momentarily daunting and yet overshadowed by slow fluid movement; so surprisingly gentle for his sheer size.

His eye locked on me as he came up and when he dived again the surrounding water fizzed with displaced energy and sloughed skin remained like snowflakes leaving a circular footprint of calm in the immensely clear water.

He surfaced three times in about thirty minutes and sang almost continuously. Whether our whale etiquette encouraged him to stay Iím not sure but when we finally had to leave he again surfaced as we were departing; as if to take another curious look at these visitors.

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