Far off, we saw a blow and went in that direction. While we were still maybe a quarter-mile away, this single humpback started slapping his tail on the water, something I had never seen. We watched him for maybe a half hour as he was feeding lazily. We went ahead and offshore of him, turned off the engine, and waited for him to pass by again.
What we got instead was an explosive breach as he rose out of the water, turned his body around in midair and crashed back into the water. We were recovering from seeing that and not getting a picture, when only a few seconds later he breached again much, much closer — and he was falling towards us. As I sat on the bow with my mouth open, Brian yelled for me to hold on as the whale was heading under the boat.
The best pictures of our lives (so far) were shot with him exploding out of the water and landing roughly twenty feet from us. He rolled, crashed back into the water, and breached again heading away from us. He then lay on the surface and crashed his giant pectoral fins over and over again. He wasn’t feeding; he chose to come straight at us, could he just have been messing with us? The sound of the breaches and fin slapping was thunderously loud and I’ll remember his visit forever. We thanked him and headed home because there was no way to top that third close encounter experience.
More Images on Pages 3 and 4