A Whale of a Good Time
While my focus these days is on Headshots and Commercial photography. It’s always great to get back to what got me into photography in the first place. A lifelong passion for wildlife and endangered species. Those of you that know me personally can attest to the constant barrage of “Save the Whales“, “Stop the Massacre in Taiji“, “Elephants and Rhino’s in Crisis”, that I spew out regularly. I see so much horror on a daily basis that sometimes I forget to experience what is still good in the world.
Last week I got to witness firsthand how amazing it is to see nature in all its wonder. For the first time in my life, on a quick little trip to Mexico, I was finally able to meet a pod of humpback whales. Two adults and one baby calf, hardly a few weeks old. I have been on several trips to see whales in the past, but not once did we ever have any luck. Well my luck changed and for nearly two hours we experienced tail (flukes) smacks, flipper slaps and breaching, some nearly entirely out of the water. I can’t even imagine the power it takes to propel a 45 foot, 40+ ton whale out of the water.
If you ever have a chance to see humpback whales in action, I guarantee you will go away knowing that you have experienced something special. It is definitely one of the most incredible events I have ever witnessed. Check out some fun facts about humpbacks below.
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Here are a few fun Humpback Whale facts for those interested:
- Adults measure 40-50 feet, and can weigh 25 to 40 tons
- The flippers are very long, between 1/4 and 1/3 the length of its body
- The tail (Flukes), can be up to 18 feet
- When the humpback whale “sounds” (goes into a long or deep dive) it usually throws its flukes upward, exposing the black and white patterned underside. This pattern is distinctive to each whale
- The flippers range from all white to all black on the top side, but are usually white on the bottom side.
- Humpback whales have a life expectancy of 45-50 years
- Humpbacks are very acrobatic, often breaching high out of the water and then slapping the water as they come back down.
- Spyhopping is another activity in which the whale pokes its head out of the water for up to 30 seconds to take a look around.
- Humpbacks also stick their tail out of the water into the air, swing it around, and then slap it on the water’s surface; this is called lobtailing.
- Slapping a fin against the surface of the water is another common humpback activity.