Gotta Love a Minke

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During July this year, I had the privilege to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

 

During the winter months, the Dwarf Minke Whales make their way to the reefs and some vessels are given permits to allow passengers to swim with these whales, I was luckily enough to be onboard one of the few that had a permit.

 

The Dwarf Minke whales are so incredibly curious, they actively sought out our boat and spent hours upon hours with us during our three nights on the reef with Interaction times actively monitored by researchers onboard to ensure the sustainability of the interactions maintained to a high standard. All of the interactions were up to the whales and they left as quickly and frequently and they pleased and we carried in our way as it was often not longer a different whale would find us and also want to see us.

 

Little is known about why the Minkes travel to the Reef during winter, The Minke Whale Project is trying to figure this out.

 

This particular Minke did not understand personal space, he features in my short documentary also entered.. I found it hard to fit him in the whole frame at some points he was that close. While we are not permitted to touch the whales, this whale did gently nudge my fin as I was watching another Minke in the distance. It was almost as if he was saying “hey I’m over here, look at me!!”

 

He circled closely many times, maintaining eye contact throughout the passes. I felt very safe and hope these photos remind people to appreciate the ocean and the creatures within, we are merely guests in their home so we should treat it that way.

 

As quickly as he arrived, he soon disappeared and left me and the deep blue alone together. Both of us waiting for him to re-appear, only he did when I was out of the water and watching him on the boat. He surfaced, opened his mouth and left me with a stunning pic of a whales goodbye treat.

Category: Photography

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