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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

Humpback Whale Calf

10th Celebrate the Sea Underwater Festival 2011

Scott Portelli received a Merit of Excellence award in the Colour Print Photographic category at the 10th Celebrate the Sea Underwater Festival 2011

Humpback whale Book

10th Anniversary Edition – Humpback Whales of Tonga

I have been coming back to Tonga every year for the past 10 years and have been lucky enough to see some amazing behaviour and have some remarkable encounters. This book commemorates my ten years visiting Tonga, I hope I can continue to do this for another 10 years. Please email me if you would like a limited edition signed copy of the book.

Tonga underwater collage freedivers whales coral

Half way through the season and we have had some amazing encounters

We have had some amazing encounters with the Humpbacks and had some fun snorkelling around the islands reefs and caves. It is only half way through the season and the whales are still arriving in numbers. stay tuned as we keep you up to date with what is happening in Tonga.

Sperm Whale

ADEX 2011 Photographer of the year competition

Scott Portelli was awarded 2nd place in the wide angle category of the ADEX 2011 photographer of the year competition. Along with his video of the Azores which also received second place in the underwater video of the year.


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