I had the opportunity to go whale watching last year while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and although I wouldn’t say I need the experience on a regular basis like writer Mark Carwardine, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. Standing out there on the water, the wind and the sea spray in our faces, my husband and I watched a small pod of humpback whales play and frolic in the cobalt waters of the Sea of Cortez and gasped in wonder.
It was the moment I realized we needed a new camera, one with a faster shutter speed that could possibly catch the blink-and-you-missed it jumps and dives and twists of the magnificent creatures. Or, breaching, as Carwardine calls it:
“Their pièce de résistance is breaching – leaping out of the water – and they seem to do this a lot off the southern tip of Baja. Flying through the air, arching their backs and waving their enormous flippers about, they hit the water with a thundering splash, as if someone has dropped a submarine from a great height, before disappearing from sight beneath the surface.”
I spent a lot of time cursing and later, as I reviewed my hundreds of photos, realized I only had a handful of shots with actual humpback whales in them. I did manage to catch breaching and playing on video a few times, though: