A giant humpback whale leaps terrifyingly close to ‘whaleman’ Duncan Murrell in the Tenakee Inlet, Southeast Alaska. Duncan is able to get close to these oceanic giants by paddling in a tiny kayak while they feed.
“Their habit of leaping out of the water without warning,” said 56 year old Murrell, “and unique feeding technique called bubblenetting, provides the ultimate adrenaline-rush. I position myself strategically on the surface whilst a group of whales is herding a shoal of herring below. One of the whales releases a stream of bubbles while swimming around the prey thus creating an impenetrable net. After detecting the bubbles on the surface I try to make sure that I’m on the right side of the net! Then the feeding group rushes to the surface and explodes into view with gigantic jaws agape and a halo of gulls. I have only a split second to decide whether I should either have my camera in my hands or my paddle to take evasive action!”