Let’s Get Wet!

I just got back from a 2 week trip to Boston for work (and PAX East). Just prior to departing, we went on a boat dive to Molokini Crater. It’s still whale season for another month or so and our dive was constantly serenaded by the sound of male humpback whales.

While diving, you always hope that you can encounter one of these enormous animals underwater, but it’s typically not that common (even in a place like Maui, that has a lot of whales around this time of year). Despite the odds being against us, we were extremely fortunate:

I had the GoPro mounted on top of my camera and was able to capture some video of it as well:

Here’s the description I posted on YouTube:

At the end of a dive at Molokini Crater, we were alerted to “some whales being around” by our captain. We we kept our heads down and continued to hope that we could be lucky enough to spot them.
 
Eventually, they came into view – a mother and a calf.
 
The calf was swimming about its mother and eventually came up for a breath. I know how large humpback whales are, but I didn’t actually appreciate it until the moment where you see mom come into frame. There was a rather overwhelming urge to back away once I could see just how large she was because, seriously, these things are HUGE. It’s one thing to know how large they are, but another to experience it yourself in very close proximity. The video makes it appear that they’re further away from us than they really are.
 
As if we needed another surprise, there was a male escort slowing following the pair, which you see slowly cruise directly underneath us at the end of the clip.
 
You always hope to have an encounter like this while diving, but you never think that you’re lucky enough to experience it. Today, we were that lucky.
 
This was shot w/ a GoPro Hero3 with a red filter from polarprofilters.com on it. This is why the sky is all red when I bring the camera out of the water. Had I not been completely overwhelmed with the moment, I would have remembered that and not tried to get a shot of the whales breathing because the color is all messed up.
 
I decided to leave the audio completely unchanged. All the whale songs you hear are what we were actually hearing (the whales you saw were not the ones singing) and the “machine gun” sound is the camera that the GoPro was mounted on top of.

I think it sums up the moment as best as I can. It’s still very difficult to put into words.

There’s a few more shots from the trip that were uploaded to the Underwater Gallery that are worth checking out… but little compares to a 50′ long mother humpback whale.

Apr 4th, 2013 | Posted in Random
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