Newborn Gray Whale, Monterey, California, 1995
We were offshore of Big Sur when, to our surprise, a gray whale surfaced and approached our boat. Then we realized a second, tiny whale was with it. I was not prepared to shoot any underwater photos, having no u/w camera or bathing suit. My buddy Ken loaned me a water camera, so I quickly shoved the only film I had available (K200) in it and then got into the water commando. It was very cold and I could not see well in the crappy Monterey water. The whales were swimming around the boat and as soon as they saw me they came straight over to take a look, mother passing below me and calf nearly running in to me. The calf was unbelievably small, the tiniest I had ever seen, with embryonic folds (from being curled up in its mother's womb) and a fluke (tail) that was still a soft as a piece of tissue paper. It was obviously just learning how to swim and was quite awkward. The whales continued to swim around our drifting boat for 20-30 minutes. It was a great day.