Snorkeling photography encounter with the biggest whale of them all
Okay. Have you got a wide-angle lens? No, wider. Fish-eye lens? Nope. Think whale-eye lens.
It is on this underwater photography free diving adventure that we truly earn our name. (Big Animals Expeditions.) Because the blue whale is as big as it gets. The biggest animal to ever live on this planet. Even bigger than the biggest dinosaur yet discovered, the Argentinosaurus, which only got to 98 ft or so. You could practice for the trip by taking pictures of boxcars. Two or three boxcars, in a row.
The blue whale is so big, you wonder why it’s so hard to find. But it is, and that’s why we’ve created an elaborate blue whale tracking system, recruiting fishermen along the Pacific coast of Baja California to radio in the first sign of their northern migration. Out of San Diego, our spotter plane finds them, and our dive boat comes to about a mile away. Then all our four professional kayakers take us closer, all four guests one in each kayak. We intercept the whale’s route as directed by our scout plane, and then, quickly and very quietly, we enter their space and let them get comfortable with us. It’s then that it hits you: you’re diving alongside a blue whale. It’s like swimming next to an 18-wheeler, cruising along at 12 mph.
A few thoughts about the star of the show: the blue whale is shy. Solitary animals, there are only 12,000 or so left in the world, from a population once numbering 250,000. Amos has swum with them so many times, he’s getting to know them all. And the blue whale isn’t really blue, but it is sad. Because it’s so big and krill are so small. Only about half an inch each. Takes some 30 million krill or so just to get through the day. Good thing krill like to hang out together.
While you’re hanging out with us on this Web site, please take a look at some of the award-winning wildlife photography from Amos’s diving expeditions with the blue whale on its northern migration, and you’ll be eager for your own rare close-up of the biggest of the big.