Slipping softly into the water, I had a straight path to the mother and calf that were resting near the surface only a short distance away. We closed the gap as quietly as a group of excited first-time whale watchers could manage and were rewarded with an initial glimpse of humpback whales from under the water. The newborn stayed close to its mother and swam up and over her rostrum as we looked on.
We stayed that way, frozen in the gaze of one another, for what felt like several minutes before mom slowly turned and gently guided the calf away. Her giant pectoral fin passed in front of my lens, and soon after, a massive tail came into view before gradually fading off into the distance.