animal

Free Diver Has Once-In-A-Lifetime Encounter With A Dancing Humpback Whale Calf

by Angela Andaloro

If you think scuba diving seems intense, you won’t believe what this guy does.

Pablo Prieto is a 34-year-old free diver.

Free divers use breath-holding techniques to spend long periods underwater instead of relying on breathing apparatuses. Pablo was on a dive when he noticed a whale calf stray from its sleeping mother. The calf headed toward Pablo to check him out.

Pablo was in the water near Mo’orea, French Polynesia, for about two hours, admiring the calf from afar. When the calf approached him, it began to mirror Pablo’s movements. The humpback calf engaged in a 20-minute encounter with Pablo.

Pablo felt that they bonded during that time.

“I really felt the connection to the whale,” he told Caters News Agency, saying the two felt synchronized and the whale “appreciated the eye contact at the end of the clip.”

Most people might find themselves overwhelmed or scared in that situation. But Pablo was perfectly calm and claims he felt safe the whole time. As he moved with the humpback calf, it was unlike anything he’d ever experienced.

“We were underwater, opposite one another spinning together,” he recalled fondly. “The whale was looking at me and I was spinning in a circle and then it was spinning in a circle, it was like a real dance.”

Pablo has been a surfer for 25 years. For him, the special moment is a reminder of how important it is to conserve life in the ocean: “It reinforces how beautiful the creatures are and how we need to protect them, and the overall ocean, by looking after our consumption, micro-plastics and more.”

Check out the breathtaking moment in the video.

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