Ocean Art 2023 - Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior

Honorable Mention Marine Life Behavior

Brandi Romano




Brandi Romano won a bottle of Li Lé Blue Watersports Hair Care for Divers! 


The Story: 

In the waters off South Maui, our boat was approached by two adult humpback whales. From the surface, they were so close together that they appeared to be one. When we saw two exhalations, we knew there were two. As we are not allowed to enter the water, I laid on the back swim step, and with my mask, snorkel and camera, dipped my head and arms into the water (engines are shut down when whales are close by). To my amazement, I saw two whales that appeared to be frolicking.  Upon closer inspection, and after them circling the boat several times, it was determined that one of the whales was seemingly very ill.  It was covered in whale lice and appeared to have a broken jaw. The other whale seemed to be using the injured one as “target” practice, not allowing it to come up for air, and constantly harassing it.  It is believed that the injured whale came close to the boat as a way to try and deter the aggressor.  They circled the boat a half dozen times and then went on their way.  In this image, the whales are approximately 15 yards from the boat and the aggressor has successfully penetrated the victim, which was later determined to be a male as well.  


South Maui, Hawaii

Equipment Used: 

Camera Settings: 

  • Aperture: F7.1
  • Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
  • ISO: 500



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