These four humpback whales were part of a heat run comprising six testosterone-fueled males in pursuit of a single fertile female. Swimming at high speed, the whales appeared from the blue haze below, charging toward the surface in a mad rush. I dived down and waited in mid-water for them.
As this group of four hurtled past me, I experienced a surge of adrenalin, triggered by the simultaneous exhilaration and apprehension of such a close encounter with a quartet of 40-ton animals.
The four whales pictured here are all male, one of which is blowing bubbles--a common behaviour that may signify aggression when observed during heat runs.
The female surfaced some distance away together with the other males, which certainly explains why these whales were in such a rush!