Breathtaking Pictures Show 50-tonne Whale and Calves Swimming Underneath Vessel

A group of wildlife watchers scan the open ocean for activity – as a huge whale drifts just below them. These amazing images show a 50-tonne southern right whale and its calves swim within touching distance of a small tourist vessel and its crew. The massive mammal dwarfs the boat and could easily crush it with one swipe of its 15ft tail.

But according to wildlife photographer Justin Hofman – the family seemed more intent on making friends. He said: “Being in the water with a whale is the most humbling experience I’ve ever had underwater… Not only are these animals massive, but they are long-lived, intelligent, cultural beings… Swimming along with a curious right whale calf was nerve-racking. At any moment I thought ‘mom’ was eventually going to get annoyed with me and swat me with her 15ft tail – and I’d be a goner.”

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