Getting low and shaky

Sperm Whale
Sperm Whale

One of the best advises you can get to take better pictures is to get at the same level as your subject. However, how do you do so when you want to take pictures of a whale? Especially when the water is cold and you don’t want to dive in? Well, make sure you’re in a boat that is low in the water. This was the main reason for us to pick Sea Safari Andenes to take us to some Sperm Whales. They use small rubber inflatables (with chairs!), so you’re really low in the water. Powerful engines allow it to skim the waves and make it not too bumpy. Well, most of the time that is. Sometimes the swell was too big, and we ended up being lifted from our chairs and flying for a little while. But most of the time the conditions were really good, we even ended up sunbathing!

But it was a great success! In the beginning we had trouble finding the whales. One was seen from the coast using powerful binoculars, but it was hard to relocate. The problem with finding Sperm Whales is that they don’t show much when they surface (their blow is only a few meters high) and can stay under for 30 minutes… But in the end we managed to find two animals, both showing their characteristic fluke while diving. There was also another boat present at the last whale, however, the people there where much higher up, and I’m sure they didn’t get the nice and low shots we got.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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