(This post originally published following my 2009 Baja photo trip)
In this post of my 2009 Baja trip, I will share some of my experiences with the blue whale, the largest mammal on earth.
The first images are of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus), the largest creature on earth, with a length of ~100 feet! These huge animals have hearts the size of a Volkswagen … you could darn near stand up inside it’s heart! Our boat was a 100-foot vessel, and we had some closeup encounters that we could use to measure up to! We saw blue whales in both the Pacific Ocean (along the Baja coast) and again in the Sea of Cortez. We had hoped to see at least one blue whale during the trip, but managed to see ~12-15 of them! This first image is a blue whale as it “flukes”, lifting it’s huge tail out of the water to dive for food, with the beautiful Baja landscape in the background.
But one of our “extreme” experiences came when a blue whale surfaced on it’s side, just off the port side of our vessel. This happened quickly, and without warning … and there I was, on deck with my 100-400mm + 1.4x teleconvertor! Consequently, I did not capture any wide angle shots of the whale on the surface. But I did manage to get some pretty good closeups of the whale as it fed on krill that was at the surface:
Above, the Blue Whale feeds on krill on the surface. Note the upper/lower mandibles of the mouth in this image.
In the above image, note the folds of the throat in this image, as the whale rolls away from us.
The blue whale experience was one (of many!) of the highlights for us on the trip! And so lucky to have one right beside the boat … guess we were living right! On my next Baja trip, I’m hoping to get more great closeups of the blue whale … this time with 2 cameras at the ready, one with a telephoto lens and one with a normal/wide angle lens! :o)