Tonga 2017: Trip A, day 1 and 2!

Tonga 2017: Trip A, day 1 and 2!

Malo e lelei from beautiful Vava’u!

It’s Tuesday afternoon night here in Tonga. Our first group arrived to the Talau House on Saturday and we had the day to get settled in and comfortable in our home away from home. It’s great to be back, and I couldn’t be more excited to have a great group here to share it with.

Sunday is a day of rest here, but we took advantage of the free day and got our gear wet and relaxed on the water. There’s a nice spot nearby where we can snorkel, eat and allow the group to get to know each other.

Tongan traffic jam.

Note the whale in the pool!

It’s not life changing snorkeling but after the travel and planning and anticipation, it’s good to just get some shots and get those creative juices flowing.

Monday morning, the real fun began! The weather has constantly improved since our arrival, but Monday we had 20-25 knot winds and challenging swell that limited our options as far as where we could/would go to find the whales. The area is dotted with lots of small little islands that provide a break from the wind and opportunities for calm, beautiful water and it’s one of the many things that make this area so special. One of the things I really want all our guests to experience is a singer and it was the highlight of day one. Everyone got plenty of time with this sub-adult male who would sing his little (huge) heart out for 20 minutes, come up for a breath and do it all over again. Perfect for a first swim, low key and mellow! Beautiful conditions for shooting as well.

We put Brandi in just the right spot for a good look as he came up for a breath. He’s definitely checking her out too! We are VERY fortunate to have an incredible whale guide with us who has a great ability to understand the whales and predict their actions.

Here’s the typical body position for a singer: Head down, tail up. In this case, in a nice shallow area, lending some interest to the background. 

Day two was a strange one, we found more whales overall than day one but they were all unsettled or on the move. Some folks think that swimming with Humpbacks is harassment or otherwise inappropriate, but I can tell you that those folks have never been here to experience it firsthand. We will NEVER put our desires ahead of their well being, so as an example when this mornings mom and her new calf weren’t feeling comfortable and relaxed we weren’t going in. Fortunately there are plenty of opportunities with willing whales, and I’m sure the upcoming days will more than make up for our slow start.

Spirits are high, the group is doing awesome and having a great time!

Thanks for reading, stay tuned! Ofa atu!



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