With my sunscreen on, camera fully charged and life jacket on I sit on the bench of the semi-small boat. Hair tied up and held with my sports cap protecting my long hair from the ocean wind pushing it on my face. With my face slightly tilted at an angle to enjoy the sun rays and tiny moisture drops drying on my cheeks, I close my eyes and let the excitement I am about to experience built up. I hear the hull of the boat breaking the waves at full speed and the boat guide briefing us on the creatures we are hoping to see. In a matter of ten minute ride, the buzzing boat’s engine stops, the winds become breeze and silence is requested. I open my eyes and there I am: in the middle of the bay at the doors of the Atlantic Ocean off the Argentinian coast. The rocking boat drifts around waiting for the humpback whales to approach us. Nestling time has ended and the baby whales swim along with their mothers, gaining strength and skills before beginning their first migration journey across the deep blue waters of several oceans.
All of a sudden my eye meets the hump of the mother whale for the very first time. It is far away and appears to be little. However, as she approaches the boat, I get surprised by how big she actually is. There out of the blue waters a smaller hump emerges: the whale’s daughter. It is a truly beautiful scene: mother and daughter swimming along, breathing the air out and splashing the surface ocean waters as they leap and aw their audience. It gives the impression they are performing for the human eye, greeting us with their joyful and friendly presence. I am slightly frightened but the excitement of experiencing these scenes from the very first “front seats” overtakes me. There are not just two but several other mothers and daughters swimming along the bay. Cameras clicking photos, cam-corders video taping the big leaps and many “wows” and “awwwws” are mumbled. Suddenly, when I thought I had lost sight of the closest family pair, I am overwhelmed to see both standing by the boat’s stern. Only then can I really realize the large size and powerful presence. They are calm, friendly and let themselves be photographed. They are passing underneath the boat and going in circles around us. It is a truly magical experience. I put my camera down and let the eyes enjoy this spectacular scene.
The experience was so special I can remember every detail of that boat journey today six years later. This is definitely once in a lifetime experience I recommend to anyone traveling to Argentina in the Southern Hemisphere Spring. You will not regret it!!