Super-Breach Surprise in Ma’alaea Bay!

16 Jan
Surprise breach 1

(This and the next three shots) This immature adult Humpback whale literally jumped into my camera’s viewfinder! Although the M/V VOYAGER was surrounded by whales at this moment, all those I was tracking were more than 500 yards out from the boat, and there was no indication of a whale this close (within 100-150 yards) to the boat. (Click on image to see a larger version.)

I know this post is out-of-sequence (I’m about six cruises behind in my posting schedule… sorry!), but I wanted to post this 4-photo sequence so that several of my fellow passengers on t 9 am HST cruise of the Voyager could view and download it. (NOTE: My next post will continue from December 27th.)

surprise breach 2

At this point in her breach, the whale’s body is about 90 percent out of the water. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)


surprise breach 3

Though not a “complete” breach, it was a photo-op I’ve been waiting on for a couple of years. (Click on the image to view larger version.)


surprise breach 4

Splashdown! The impact of the whale’s entire length on the surface resulted in a resounding “crack” followed by an immense splash that completely enveloped the whale and filled the entirety of the camera’s viewfinder. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

This entire sequence of shots (originally 10 frames) took place within about eight- to ten-2000ths of a second! I was only able to capture the breach because I happened to have the camera pointed in the right direction; the whale literally jumped into my viewfinder. Fortunately, I always keep my 300 mm zoom-telephoto lens at the 135 mm focal length when I’m not tracking a whale; that way I can quickly zoom up or down to catch a whale in the act of doing something cool.

Here’s this photo sequence’s camera metadata (averaged over the original 10-frame sequence):

  • Camera: Canon EOS 40D
  • Lens: Canon “L” Series EF70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
  • ISO 400
  • Focal Length 300.0 mm (485.6 mm in 35mm)
  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Exposure Time: 0.0005s (1/2000).

One Response to “Super-Breach Surprise in Ma’alaea Bay!”

  1. Liz Croonquist at 9:55 AM #

    Holy camoly, Cuz! You really had some luck with these shots!! Your heart must have leaped into your throat while shooting these!! Congrats!!

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