Follow my Lead by Cédric Péneau
Reunion Island (my home)
- Nikon D7200
- Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens
- Nauticam housing
No dive center, we rent boats with friends and go whale watching and swimming. I am a scuba diving instructor with a 12 year experience with whales so I guess I know the dos and donts…
We are very lucky to have humpback whales visiting our shores every Austral Winter (from June to October). They come from the Antarctic to mate and give birth to their calves, who can enjoy the warm clear water of Reunion Island. Whales are quite easy to find (look for the blows !), but getting a good swimming interaction is trickier, for that you have to be lucky and especially very patient, and to approach slowly with your boat and swim the last 100 meters as calmly as you can.
The rest is up to the whales, sometimes they don’t want to be near you and swim away, but sometimes they stay calm or can even get playful. This was the case of this mother who is called Rabajou and who kept swimming towards and around us. The closer you are the better your shot gets, as we don’t use any strobes and rely on ambient light, that’s why most of the time I use Tokina 10-17 fisheye at 10 mm.