Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Whale Watching, Eye to Eye

When a southern right whale decided to spend some time visiting Wellington recently, Polly Greeks had a ring-side seat to enjoy the action; the whale spent 15 hours playing about in the water below her deck.

In Polly's words: "It was up there amongst the most brilliant things I've ever seen. [That's saying something from what we know about Polly's adventures all over the world]. It was 12-metres long and spent the entire day just lolling around off the rocks. Sometimes it lay on its back waving its giant flippers out of the water and other times it raised its whole upper body from the water, nearly causing car crashes all along the coast road. I could still hear it in the evening when it was too dark to see it any longer."

Polly's neighbour, cinematographer Simon Baumfield, took these photos after an up-close-and-personal encounter diving with the whale. "Simon said he was swimming with the whale for about half an hour, and really wanting to get a photo of its eye, when it tucked its giant fin in to the side of its body to allow him to get in close enough. It was also making very low, deep sounds which vibrated right through him, and he found himself spontaneously making the same sounds back".
Thanks Polly, for bringing some magic to our day, and to Simon for the beautiful images.

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