Tonga Humpback Whales 2005

Images by William Warmus

These images were made during a voyage to Tonga aboard the motor-sailer Nai'a, led by Stan Waterman. July, 2005.

"Some of the subtlest secrets of the seas seemed divulged to us in this enchanted pond. We saw young Leviathan amours in the deep.

And thus, though surrounded by circle upon circle of consternations and affrights, did these inscrutable creatures at the centre freely and fearlessly indulge in all peaceful concernments; yea, serenely reveled in dalliance and delight.

But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets of unwaning woe revolve round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy."

Herman Melville. Moby Dick. Chapter 87

Warmus Tonga Journal

Images below: Humpback Whales and free divers

In the Ha'apai chain of islands, Tonga, July 2005

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[Images copyright 2005 William Warmus  For permissions to use E-mail www at warmus dot com]


Stan Waterman, who led our expedition to dive with the whales, aboard the one of the Nai'a's skiffs.

In the open ocean, both the humpback and the woman appear to be spyhopping--which means that they have their eyes out of the water to look at what is happening in the world of air. The humpback is about 30 feet long, the woman about 5.5 feet, the water several hundred feet deep.

Notice how this free diver (below) appears to be aligning his arms to match the pectoral fins of the Humpback Whale

Two divers for scale