The waves that day had been fierce, the current strong, and the searches had mostly been busts all morning.
The wild humpbacks we sought are the gentlest giants I’ve ever met – aware of their bodies and dancing through the water so effortlessly, in ways few animals can.
Captain Onoi’s coffee brown eyes widened as she spotted the scene in the water. It was a rare and exciting opportunity to swim with a mom and calf while she was pursued by a juvenile male, hell-bent on mating.
Sometimes whales make eye contact and play for hours with us, and sometimes they are too busy to care we are there – this drop would be the latter.
Onoi put us in perfect position to slip in and see the show. She’s the only female boat captain in French Polynesia and between you and me – she’s the best. Her cascading mermaid