Introducing leggings. You’ll never run out of inspiration.

Under the sea roams a four ton (3630 kgs) humpback baby whale full of playful fun…this rambunctious humpback whale calf considered our little group of snorkelers as his own personal “rubber duckies” in the shallow waters of the Dominican Republic’s Silver Bank. He played with us for hours, swimming close enough to touch us (literally!) while his mother napped below us, her reverie broken every 25" when she surfaced for a breath.

This protected marine area is known as the Sanctuary For The Marine Mammals Of The Dominican Republic, including the waters of the Dominican Republic’s Silver Bank, Navidad Bank and Semana Bay.

Located approximately 80 miles (approximately 123 kms) to the north of the Caribbean island nation of the Dominican Republic, the Silver Bank plays host to several thousand North Atlantic migrating humpback whales every year during the northern hemisphere’s winter months. Mother whales swim here from the cold nutrient-rich waters of the North Atlantic Ocean to bear their young as well as mate with hopeful males. Waters of the Silver Bank are relatively warm and shallow, about 60 feet deep (18 meters) on average, ideal for birthing humpback young. Additionally, the Silver Bank is a virtual underwater desert, devoid of rich schools of fish that would otherwise attract predators. This is a perfect environment in which to bring a baby whale into the world.

Surface activity among competitive males hoping for a chance to mate ranges from breaching to pectoral slaps to tail lobs and slaps, all of it quite exciting. Yet the experience of being able to slip into the water with relaxed mothers, their calves and sometimes male escorts takes whale watching to new heights, inspiring emotions ranging from awe to sheer unadulterated joy.

The humpback whale is classified as an endangered species. Threats to its survival include commercial whaling and boat strikes as well as entanglement in fishing gear, most commonly nets and fishing lines.

Photographed with a Fuji Finepix F30 with a waterproof housing, manual setting, -2/3, f/4.0, shutter 1/400.

March, 2009

Top Shelf Wildlife (January 2011)
Nature Photography Challenge (February, 2011)
All That Is Nature (February 2011)
Baby Wildlife of the World (February 2011)
Awesome Wild Animals & Underwater Kingdom (January 16, 2012)
Close Ups In Nature (January 21, 2012)

860 as of January 19, 2012

37 as of January 19, 2012

It is my sincere wish that visitors to my portfolio experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Moreover my hope is that my photographs will inspire viewers to be proactive toward the protection of wildlife and its habitat, those efforts ultimately making a far better world for all beings.

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  • lanebrain photography
    lanebrain phot...almost 6 years ago

    I cannot believe this….I have been close to whatles before but not like this! This is such an amazing shot….underwater even!! Thanks so much for the details on this as well!! Straight to my favorites!!

  • Thank you ever so much, lanebrain. I admit to having been quite choked up with emotion when this fella played with us, an experience that is most uncomfortable while wearing a snorkel and mask. For a whale geek, I do not exaggerate when I tell you that being so near to these humpbacks—-indeed, seeing their eyes looking straight at me—-was akin to a religious experience. They continue to amaze me.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Erika .
    Erika .almost 6 years ago

    oooohh I like this! It’s an amazing shot! You’re so lucky to take this shot!

  • erika15, being amongst whales is indeed a blessing. Thank you for stopping by for a look.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Barbara Burkhardt
    Barbara Burkhardtalmost 6 years ago

    Sigh! How beautiful … and wonderful you, who so admires these great creatures had the chance to witness them in their own deep blue “room”. This moves me.

  • Barbara, you are very kind and clearly a fellow whale geek! After perusing your portfolio of beautiful animal images, I strongly suspect you cannot get enough of Nature’s wonders either. Thank you for your uplifting comments!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Andrew Price
    Andrew Pricealmost 6 years ago

    ‘Look at the Whale, ’aint he beautiful, I think I’m going to cry!’

  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
    Gina Ruttle (...almost 6 years ago

    Andrew, that’s just what we did, get teary-eyed when in the company of this great whale. Unfortunately that tends to fog one’s mask. Cheers!

  • Jenny Dean
    Jenny Deanalmost 6 years ago


  • Thank you ever so much, JennyDean. One note on this gorgeous baby whale. He reminded me of my own very young, newly adopted shelter rescue dog, a playful juvenile delinquent absolutely full of himself. I’ll never forget this young fellow and wish him and his mother godspeed on their migration to northern feeding grounds.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Erik Schlogl
    Erik Schloglalmost 6 years ago

    Beautiful shot, instant favourite!

  • Thank you ever so much, Erik! You have a keen eye for what lies underwater. I am honored that you enjoyed this baby whale so much!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Shaina Lunde
    Shaina Lundealmost 6 years ago

    Wow!!!! Amazing shot!!!!

  • Thank you, Shaina. I can’t tell you how amazed I was that this big old boy kept passing by us for looks as he played. It’s always a good day when with whales.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Phil Threlfall
    Phil Threlfallalmost 6 years ago

    Stunning shot !!!

  • Phil, thank you for your kind comment. Much appreciated.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • sharon wingard
    sharon wingardalmost 6 years ago

    great shot

  • Sharon, thank you for taking the time to have a look at this humpback calf!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

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