Getting up close with a spermwhale

Divers Swim With Whales – See Their Amazing Photos

A pair of freedivers share what they experienced while exploring the wonders of the Indian Ocean.

High five
High five© Alex Voyer

Alex Voyer and Alex Roubaud, who work together under the name Fisheye, took off with the dream of observing humpback whales in the Indian Ocean. They spent a month in Mauritius, Mayotte and Mohéli, but disappointingly for them, the whales were not in their expected location. Fortunately, the freedivers still caught the full beauty of the ocean in their captivating images.

The humpbacks are known to migrate from June to October to give birth and mate, and the guys thought they’d be sure to meet them. However, they were nowhere to be seen. The reason? Voyer isn’t so sure.

“Nobody knows much about it, and that is the nature of the wild world," says Voyer. "The animals keep their mysteries, they are not objects to be bought or to be possessed, and that is certainly the way it should be!”

Although they missed the humpacks, the trip most certainly did not disappoint as the ocean provided them with a whole host of wildlife to admire.

Dancing with a mantaray
Dancing with a mantaray© Alex Voyer

They were able to swim alongside a group of 20 sperm whales. “A big baby accompanied us on a freedive of 15 meters [about 50 feet] deep," Voyer says. "After an hour cavorting, it seemed to us he was looking to catch our palms with incredible softness and delicacy, with absolutely no sign of aggression or any sudden move on his part. But he became so sticky that we decided to leave the water before he wanted to take us fishing with him 600 meters deeper!”

Rare view of a pseudo orca

A pseudo orca
A pseudo orca© Alex Voyer

They were also lucky enough to meet 20 pseudo orcas, a rare occurrence, and green turtles also joined them for a swim. “The green turtles are an emblematic species of the islands of Mohéli and Mayotte," says Voyer. "Every night a minimum of 20 would lay eggs on the beaches of Itsamia, now a marine reserve.”

They also came across manta rays, and enjoyed swimming with them at the end of each day while on Moheli.

“The Indian Ocean has spoiled us more than we expected," Voyer adds. "Its waters are always full of life, but many local fishermen tell us that their resources are diminishing rapidly.”

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By Alison Mann