Sometimes the stars and sea align - even in the starless skies of an Antarctic summer. In the following instance, it was a case of land and marine mammals meeting in the middle of that thin interface between the liquid and oxygenated world. The location, Wilhelmina Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula.
It was during an unassuming, after-dinner zodiac cruise from the platform of the National Geographic Explorer that some of our skiffs came across a group of feeding humpback whales. After about 20 minutes of impressive lunge feeding behavior the whales seemed to settle into a less focused pattern of feeding and shifted their attention towards us. What ensued was 40 minutes of the most attentive, curious, engaging behavior I’ve ever experienced from a marine mammal while on the ocean. During this period two individuals circled, swam under, spy-hopped next to and nearly (but never actually) rubbed their 40 foot bodies along every inch of our 22 ft. rubber boats. In a seemingly obvious example of interspecies curiosity, these charismatic megafauna took time out of their busy summer feeding schedules to interact with us and left an impression that will stay with me long after winter returns and the stars shin once again in the Antarctic skies. #antarctica #WilhelminaBay #lindbladexpeditions #LEX #nationalgeographicexplorer #humpbackewhales #whales #friendlywhales #curiouswhales #wildlife #humananimalencounters #animalkingdom #gesture #underwater photography #aquatech #aquatec #half and half photography #overunders