Swim with whales in Tonga and around the world
contact@swimmingwithgentlegiants.com
+ 61 (0) 402 124 453

Swimming with Gentle Giants appearing at the 2020 Ocean Film Festival

I’m excited to announce that my film Swimming with Gentle Giants will be featured as part of the 2020 Ocean Film Festival!

Produced and directed by Stefan Andrews from Ocean Imaging, Swimming with Gentle Giants explores my close connection to humpback whales and showcases some of the unique behaviours I’ve experienced while swimming with them in the pristine waters of Tonga.

Australian & New Zealand ocean lovers will be able to immerse themselves in the wonders of the ocean without getting their feet wet this coming February to April as the Ocean Film Festival World Tour makes a splash in cinemas across both countries. The festival, which features a carefully curated selection of the world’s most captivating ocean-themed will light up silver screens in 35 towns and cities.

Tickets and screening times are available here

 

A big shout out to my amazing skipper Sione Fifita, expert local guide Vili Takau and Whales in the Wild who have supported and guided my adventures in Tonga for many years and who have helped make this film possible.

Wildlife photographer Paul Nicklen visits Tonga

We were honoured to have one of the world’s most acclaimed nature photographers, filmmakers and marine conservationists Paul Nicklen and his team from SeaLegacy visit us in Tonga recently. Paul has spent over 20 years documenting the beauty and the plight of our planet and as an assignment photographer for National Geographic magazine, he captures and inspired the imagination of a global audience.

Paul is also the co-founder of non-profit, SeaLegacy which plays a crucial role in ocean conservation centred around extraordinary visual storytelling using a team of the world’s best photographers and filmmakers to capture the beauty and the threats below the surface of our oceans. SeaLegacy then utilises the incredible captured media to fuel, inspire and fund global campaigns that trigger lasting and sustainable change to protect our precious oceans. You can read more about their inspiring work here.

We had some truly amazing experiences and interactions with the whales during the week, we even got to see some baby whale dancing (Check out Paul’s awesome Instagram footage!).

We think Paul summed up our experience perfectly:

Thanks to Paul and his team for visiting us in Tonga!

 

2020 Tonga Photography Workshops with Linda Beks 

We are excited to announce that award winning photographer, Linda Beks will be joining us to run photography workshops in Tonga during our 2020 season.

If you are interested in capturing some great images while you are swimming with the humpback whales then these trips are the ones to book. No photography experience is required and Linda will cover everything from basic tips and tricks to more advanced techniques.

Linda Beks tour dates:

 

 

Scott Portelli + SWGG featured in Let’s Travel magazine

We’re excited to share that Scott Portelli and SWGG were recently featured in Roderick Eime‘s article for Let’s Travel magazine! Scott is always passionate about sharing his interactions with these beautiful creatures and we think this quote sums up the Swimming with Gentle Giants experience perfectly:

“Everything is happening in slow motion. Time seems to stand still. Hours tick by like minutes. The majestic, 40-tonne mammals appear to hover beneath the surface. Graceful and agile, these enormous creatures are hypnotic in their action, moving effortlessly through strong currents and at times appearing stationary just a few metres beneath you. It is a truly humbling experience to be in the company of these sublime, gentle monsters.”

Thanks to Let’s Travel magazine and Roderick for the great article!

Scott Portelli featured on “The Pod: Ocean Swimming”

We’re excited to share that Scott Portelli was recently featured on Marc West’s podcast series “The Pod: Ocean Swimming”.

Marc and Scott discuss the amazing experience of swimming with different species of whales, the ocean, marine life and all things underwater in this insightful and informative interview.


Photo by Joanna Lentini

photographer scott portelli profile shot

Ignite Sydney Talk – 1000 Days underwater with whales

Late last year I was asked to speak at the Ignite Sydney event. The rules of Ignite is simple – presenters stick to a format of 20 slides, each of which changes automatically after 15 seconds, giving a guaranteed 5 minute presentation. This is not as easy as you might think and 15 seconds is really not a lot of time, but it was a great experience and a well organised event which I had the privilege of being a part of. I look forward to seeing the next installment of this long standing Sydney event.

You can see my talk about my life spent with Humpback whales below.

Swimming with Gentle Giants is on Instagram!

Our Swimming with Gentle Giants account is dedicated entirely to whales and the beautiful locations around the world where we can take you swimming with them.  We will be regularly sharing up close and personal pictures and videos here that showcase these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. You can follow us at: https://www.instagram.com/swimmingwithgentlegiants/

 

And that’s a wrap: 2018 Tonga whale season

Sadly the 2018 whale season has come to an end for us here in Tonga, but 2019 is just around the corner and we will be back from July 2019 sharing these experiences again with the whales. With all the things we saw this season it was hard to just limit it to 1 recap, so here is Part 2 full of heat runs, breaching whales, mothers and calves, manta rays, coral reefs, simply paradise. We hope you will love this place as much as we do and hopefully you can join us in the future.

Another amazing season in Tonga

It’s almost that time of the year again where we start to wrap up our adventures and say goodbye to the whales and the wonderful people we have met along the way. It has been a season full of excitement, magical moments, new adventures and not to mention the big beautiful whales that have swum amongst us. We swam with sunfish, pilot whales, danced with manta rays, played with spinner, rough tooth and bottlenose dolphins, and swam with the most majestic gentle giants of the ocean, the humpback whales. We hope you enjoy our recap video below!

Waterproof Expeditions and Swimming with Gentle Giants join forces

In 2019 Waterproof Expeditions and Swimming with Gentle Giants join forces to bring you some new and exciting expeditions in Tonga. With over 17 years taking people to swim with humpback whales in Tonga, combined with Waterproof Expeditions who are experts in adventure and expedition travel around the world, this venture sees us offering some of the best experiences with whales you could ever imagine.

Just released for 2019, new tours to swim with the humpback whales in Tonga:

12th – 19 July – Tour #2 – 7 Days on the water
20th – 27th July Tour #3 – 7 Days on the water

9th – 16th August – Tour #4 – 7 Days on the water
20th – 27th August – Tour #5 – 7 Days on the water

1st – 8th October – Tour #6 – 7 Days on the water
9th – 16th October Tour #7 – 7 Days on the water
17th – 24th October Tour #8 – 7 Days on the water

Contact us for more information on how you can join one of these amazing trips.