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A swimmer in front of a huge humpback whale, on tour with Swimming with Gentle Giants

Marine Biologist, Tia Rose joins us in Tonga this year

Joining us this year in Tonga is Tia Rose Marine Biologist and Guide. Not only an expert on whales, she has an extensive knowledge of marine mammals and has been a frequent visitor to Tonga over the last 5 years. Tia has her Master of Science in Wildlife Conservation. She lives on the beautiful island of Maui. When not out exploring the waters of the pacific she works on her blog communicating science and illuminating the issues facing our oceans today by gathering the latest scientific publications and connecting it to policy, human behavior and attitudes to the environment. To view Tia’s research on swimming with whales in Tonga visit her blog:

Check out Tia’s Blog at: http://seaillumination.blogspot.com

Exhibition Customs House

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Launch exhibition at Customs House Sydney

IFAW have launched their “”We’re for Whales” photographic exhibition at Customs House in Sydney. A number of our phots of Humpback Whales feature on the massive digital wall on the ground level and throughout the exhibition. If you are in Sydney it is worth going to have a look at the exhibition and support the fight to protect our whales.

Magazine Article cover photo

Afloat Magazine Article – Whale Song

Although we will never know with any certainty just how many Humpbacks swam the world’s oceans before whaling began in earnest in the seventeenth century, the latest genetic estimates suggest the number may have been as high as 240 million animals.
Check out the article at: afloat.com.au

A swimmer in front of a huge humpback whale, on tour with Swimming with Gentle Giants

We are expecting a big season in 2013

Some of the most amazing moments I have had in my life have been in the water with Humpback whales and after a decade of doing this I can truly say there is nothing on this planet that comes close than being face to face with a Humpback whale underwater. So we are counting down the days until August/September and hope to have some of those life changing moments for our guests. we only have 3 spaces left for the season so if you are thinking about a trip, Tonga is the place to be.

Humpback whale mother and calf

Kicking off the 2012 season

The the whales are here! And they come in all shapes and sizes! I can’t think of a better way to spend your time than floating on the surface face to face with these majestic Humpback whales. The people who have spent time with the whales over the last 10 years with me know how much of a privilege it is and it is good to see these friends again year after year. Our team will be in Tonga this year to help create some new memories. Enjoy the season and hope to share these experiences with you all soon.

Azores Marine Life

The Diversity of the Azores

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean lies the archipelego of the Azores. On any given day you will see resident Sperm whales and Dolphins frequenting the waters just off the coast. The volcanic Islands drop thousands of metres into the ocean and provide nutrient rich waters where a multitude of marine life thrive. This is one of the most diverse places for marine life that I have ever visited. over a peroiod of one month we encounters 14 species of whales and dolphins not to mention the Turtles, Sharks, Mobula Rays, Mola Mola’s and other pelagic fish. In 2013 we will continue with our Sperm Whale and Dolphin program but also be running a small group dive trip to see the giant Mobula rays and Blue Sharks and some of the diving around the .Azores. contact us for more information.

All images taken under a special permit granted by the Regiao Autonoma Dos Acores, Secretaria Regional Do Ambiente E Do Mar, Dreccao Regional do Ambiente.

Artwork Patrick LaMontagne

Humpback Inspired Artwork

I recently was approached by an artist, Patrick LaMontagne, who creates unique cartoon characters of various wildlife and has put together a collection of these wildlife cartoon totems. He asked permission to use a particular Humpback calf photo I took in Tonga last year and explained what he was trying to achieve. I didn’t know what to expect but as you can see the final piece is very engaging. It is always flattering when someone is inspired by your work and as you can see below the results are truly amazing. Patrick is a very talented artist and you can see more of his collection at http://www.cartoonink.com

Freediver in Swallows Cave

Epson World Shootout Underwater Grand Prix for 2011

During August this year the Epson World Shootout was taking place. I just found out that I won third prize in the wide angle category. There were some great entries for this event and I feel privileged to be awarded along side some amazing photographers. you can checkout some of the photos at the World Shoot out website. The shot below was taken in swallows cave in Vava’u Tonga and no matter how many times I come back to Tonga this is always a favourite spot for taking photos. Special thanks to my model Rebecca Hayter for patiently holding her breath so I could capture the light and colour.

sea shepherd and Paul Watson

Meeting Paul Watson Captain of Sea Shepherd

As many of you know I am a keen advocate for the preservation of whales and spend half my life in the water photographing these amazing creatures. It was privilege to meet the Captain and Founder of Sea Shepherd last night as the conservation group try and raise enough money to fuel their campaign to Antarctica to stop the Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean in Australian and New Zealand Antarctic territory. Hope this is the year they end whaling.

Jelly Fish Tonga harbour

ANZANG Nature and Landscape Photographer of the Year Competition 2011

Scott Portelli was named Runner up in the underwater category at the ANZANG Nature Photography competition 2011 http://anzang.samuseum.sa.gov.au/index.php?blog%2Fshow%2FUnderwater-2011.html