Alone at sea with Humpback Whales

Of all the creatures which visit me while I am working alone at sea the most grand of all has to be the spectacular Humpback Whales.  I have such incredibly close encounters where whales will swim past inches from my boat and may even stay with me while I’m winching a whole string of dillies. Occasionally a whole pod of whales may befriend me, staying with me for quite some time and repeatedly swim close enough to gently scrap the boat, turn around and make another leisurely pass. So close that they will pass their tail over my bow rail while I’m working. It is just heart thumping breathtakingly awesome to be so close to such a massive and magnificent creature.

Humpback Whales appear to be quite oblivious of the law which states that we should stay at least 100 metres clear of each other! But when you are as big as a Humpback Whale who is going to argue with you? 

Other encounters can be quite tranquil and enchanting. Reminiscent of the morning I had set my first shot, the air had a little chill to it and I was quietly sitting down enjoying a hot cup of tea from my thermos and watching a beautiful sunrise over a calm sea with just ocean on the horizon all round, when I realized that the tune I could hear percolating through the bottom of my boat was a nearby submerged whale singing his song. A serene alone at sea moment like this gives one great joy and I am overwhelmed with a ‘life is good and I wouldn’t be dead for quids’ sensation. 

Sometimes a whale will calmly and slowly raise head first out of the water and stay motionless looking at me eye to eye and seemingly close enough to touch, I say out loud  “how do you do Mr Whale?”

Two or three times the length and ten to twenty times heavier than my boat very close encounters with Humpback Whales are of course quite awe-inspiring. When the whales are putting on a real show splashing around or breaching in close proximity to the boat the adrenalin rush is just huge. At times like this a whale may even breach right beside the boat, and if I’m busy sorting my catch and not paying attention a breach can catch me totally unaware as the surrounding water explodes like a bomb scaring the daylights out of me. I have had my back  turned, and a breaching whale has belly flopped up close and struck the water with the noise of thunder while at the same time I can feel the shock wave through the floor of my boat as well as a gust of displaced air all of which can overwhelm me and cause me to instinctively duck for cover to avoid what terrible and dreadful ill fate is about to engulf me. 


 A massive Humpback the size of a bus may unexpectedly burst out of the water so close to completely fill my field of vision and I stand there dumbfounded with eyes as wide as saucers and think ‘WOW’. Occasionally a Whale will breach very high and fully clear of the water, looking up skyward at a fully grown 30 plus tonne Humpback Whale out of the water and up close is surly one of the most breathtaking and awesome sights on this planet.



Framed Prints of Humpback whales.

Alone at Sea with Humpback Whales.

Alone at sea with Sharks.

Alone at Sea with my Dolphins.

The Wreck of the ‘’SS Dickey”.

Alone at Sea with my Gannets.

Alone at Sea with my Fairy Prions.

Alone at Sea with my Albatross.

Alone at Sea with Jellies and Stingers.

Alone at Sea with my Giant Petrels.

Alone at Sea with my Storm Petrels.

Alone at Sea with my Terns.

Alone at Sea with Jaegers and Skuas.

Alone at Sea with the Shearwaters.

My 5.6 metre Shark Cat

Weather at Sea.