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[DAY 99] Swimming with whales

My day started with a talk with my son and daughter. I think they really brought me good luck for the rest of the day.
Ty and Maks were on the dinghy and a full day was in front of us. It started during my first food break. Out the corner of my eye I saw a fin racing toward us. Maks was in the water with me and Ty in the Dinghy. I asked Ty: “is it a shark?” Before Ty answered, Maks had jumped back in the dinghy. “No, it is some type whale!” replied Ty.
I put on my goggles and stuck my head under water, I first heard the clicking noise they make when they communicate and then saw a whale right below me. She swam around and gave us the time to get our GoPro ready to film her. I followed her as she was going away. By then Maks and Ty were back in the water, and Maks said, “Ben, come back here there is a second one!” The second whale did the same circling dance around us, we were able to get close to her, less than 2 meters as we swam with her under water. After a couple of loops she left us.
The three of us stayed in the water for few minutes not believing what had just happened.
I finally resumed swimming. Ty and Maks found so many odd pieces of plastic: a straw, a condiment bottle, a plastic cup, a construction hard hat…
In the middle of the day Maks joined me in the water and swam for an hour. I always enjoy having a person swim with me, it breaks down the routine.
In the distance Maks and Ty spotted 2 big pieces of debris. They were in the opposite direction. I decided it was worth it to swim back up to check them out. After about 15 minutes of swimming, we got to the location.
One was a plastic drum of phosphoric acid and there was still some in it. The other was a big piece of styrofoam with a big bird perched on it and so many different fish living below it. The bird wasn’t scared, he let us approached him and we were able to extend our hands just few inches from him. We radioed the coordinates to Seeker so they could take care of these big pieces of debris.
Before my last hour, to check if there was any sea life around, I put on the Aria from OceanReef which gave me an unobstructed view. I wished I had it on when the whales came earlier in the day. At this time nothing was around. During the last hour of the day, Ty joined me and we swam together my hour 9 of the day.

Weather conditions:
Sunny (could coverage 6/8)
Wind speed: 4 kts
Wind direction: NE
Waves height: 0.2m
Waves direction: NE
Water temperature: 29.1°C

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6 comments

  1. I’m sorry if it has been mentioned and I haven’t seen it, but what are you doing with the plastic that you pick up? Surely there’s not much room in the boat for much! Godspeed

  2. I’m curious. This post says you used a go pro to film the whales but there are no photos of them posted?
    Thanks and keep it up! I follow you every day. This is so amazing!
    Beth- Houston, Texas

  3. Hi Ben,
    we are following you! We are the English classes from Cuyama Elementary. Today my 6th grade class is watching you on your live tracker! My students would like to know if you have seen a Blue Whale? They say you are very brave and a good swimmer 🙂

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