By boat, in the Sea of Cortez, toward the island of Catalina
In my pursuit of the biggest animal on the planet, the Blue whale I went to Baja in 1995.
It was a sunny hot and calm day on the water. I was seating in a fisherman Panga with, Jose a Mexican fisherman who spoke no English and I spoke no Spanish, but we both understand Azul ballena – Blue whale.
The sea was dead calm and we were searching for hours since early morning by now we are far and away from La Paz. We saw few distinct blow of the Blue at a distance but not close enough. Noontime pass and by 2pm I started to get sleepy and thirsty, my mind was wondering about other things till Jose whispered Azul…I jumped and start looking around, but could not see anything. Jose shut down the engine and start rowing, I still can not see a thing…as I kept looking and Jose was gliding the panga through the water all of the sudden the view of the resting whale appear just in front of the panga the whole body of the 80 feet whale across the bow…I run to change my lens for the fisheye to capture the whole whale in the lens view BUT at this moment that I was ready to take the picture – Flip Nicklin image came up in my mind and rather than taking the same picture as he did, I find myself “screaming” at Jose to go back and aim to the Whale tail – but since I spoke no Spanish I put my free hand over my back and telling him to aim for the tail…as Jose was maneuvering the panga quietly around not waking up the sleepy giant, I was moving toward the bow of the Panga…as we start moving toward the Blue whale tail I extend my body over the bow lower my hands into the water and take the pictures from 4 inches above the water catching the whole 21 feet across of the whale tail and the island Catalina in background…
Sea of Cortez. Mexico
Nikon F4. 16mm fisheye lens. 1/250 at F-22. Provia 100 pushed to 200 ISO