See freedivers come face-to-face with blue whales

Three freedivers swam alongside blue whales in Sri Lanka – and took these amazing images.
The mighty blue whale in Sri Lanka
The mighty blue whale © Fisheyes
By Alison Mann

A group of divers had a face-to-face meeting with a huge pygmy blue whale while diving in Sri Lanka.

The humongous whales can reach 24m in length and they managed to capture some incredible photographs of the animals.

The freedivers – Alex Voyer, Alex Roubaud and Marianne Aventurier  spent 40 hours in the water to catch some brief moments with the majestic creatures. See their images here.

More: Experience an amazing summer of freediving photos

A unique swim with a blue whale

A diver alongside a huge blue whale in Sri Lanka
Little and large © Fisheyes

The divers met blue whales twice during their trip. Marianne explains the first encounter: “She went very slowly, she watched us before disappearing in the depths of the ocean.”

The pygmy blue whale is one of the largest animals in the world

Meeting the eyes of a blue whale during a dive in Sri Lanka
Meeting the eyes of a blue whale © Fisheyes

Before the second meeting the group had began to lose hope they would have another encounter. Marianne says: “The second meeting took place after 10 unsuccessful water releases. I was planning my return to the boat when suddenly, I found myself nose to nose with her! She swam towards me. I shifted, seeking her eyes, not easy to find in such large animals! She is covered with remora, she is sublime.”

The group also dived with sperm whales

A diver with a group of spermwhales in Sri Lanka
Catching the group © Fisheyes

The freedivers also swam alongside sperm whales during their trip. Marianne says: “We were lucky to find a huge group of sperm whales. The goal was to go in the water with a large school, so that they were less frightened and we could take more impressive photos.”

We were lucky to find a huge group of sperm whales

Marianne Aventurier
A driver follows sperm whales in Sri Lanaka
Following sperm whales © Fisheyes

She was also able to come face-to-face with one of the sperm whales, resulting in an unforgettable dive. She says: “Some slept, most went a little deeper and one of them stopped to watch us for a few minutes. He lowered his tail and did not move, I do not remember having felt his clicks, but I was subjugated by the interest he had for us.”

The sperm whales were curious about the divers

Sperm whales enjoy the ocean during a dive in Sri Lanka
Sperm whales enjoy the ocean © Fisheyes

Marianne says they’ll be back to the country: “We have seen nothing from Sri Lanka because we made an express identification of cetaceans, but we probably will return at greater length because it looks absolutely beautiful!”

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