It takes a lot of patience to go out whale watching, as it often involves drifting out in the middle of the sea for hours with nothing to show for it. However, the people in the video below just learned that a little persistence can pay off in a huge way!
The cameraman in this video did not just see a whale swimming, but was a witness to an entire breach (where the whale jumps completely out of the water) right by their ship!
The crew on this ship included four scuba divers who were floating off the shore of Mbotyi in Pondoland, Eastern Cape province, South Africa, in a tiny inflatable boat. They were hoping for the best as they drifted in the Indian Ocean, but they got a whole lot more than they bargained for!
The divers along with a captain and a deckhand were in the area to try and capture some marine wildlife in area. The spot they were at is known as a place where pilchard fish pile up in a mass migration along the east coast of Africa. Dolphins, birds and sharks often swoop into the water here to snack on sardines.
Just when the divers least expected it, a humpback whale mother let her presence be known to them as she swam with her calf. The cameraman was able to captured on film a 40 ton whale slapping her fins in the water and leaping into the air completely! An adult humpback whale leaping entirely out of the water is a very rare sighting and the group of divers were stunned by their luck.
“If there’s a lot of noise, it might be easy to drown out,” explained a marine biologist. “Leaping up in the air and splashing down is equivalent to the really keen kid in a classroom jumping up and down waving his arms.”
Seeing a whale in full breach is incredibly rare, so this was truly a once in a lifetime experience for everyone present! In fact, one of the divers noted that a whale in full breach has never actually been captured on camera before.
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