I came across these incredible videos by John J. King II (AleutianDream on YouTube) and I just had to share them. These snorkelers are in such close and peaceful contact with wild humpbacks and sperm whales in waters near the Dominican Republic, and Dominica respectively. I asked King about his experiences, and he had this to say:
“The encounters are passive. Divers are placed in the water and willing mother calf pairs are quite comfortable letting the humans watch. I am an experienced underwater photographer and typically shoot a Nikon D300 in a housing for still shots. In the last few years I have affixed a GoPro Hero 3 to the top of my housing and let it run as I shoot stills with wide angle. I did slow down the footage somewhat particularly the calf's movements, it’s 75% normal speed. Typically I am position 10 - 20 meters away. But often calves come within 5 meters!!”
I’m a big fan of these kinds of passive encounters. The footage is incredible and the whales do not appear to be bothered by the presence of humans without any kind of motorized equipment. It provides us all with a greater awareness without a massive ecological impact. Thanks for the amazing videos John!