Playful humpback whales breach in synchronisation


Playful humpback whales breach in synchronisation off the coast of Maui after chasing each other underwater

  • In the images, the playful pair of whales can be seen chasing each other underwater before breaching
  • The whales breach individually before almost unbelievably in synchronisation with each other off Maui coast
  • Photographer Don McLeish said he was called to the scene by a friend who caught sight of the humpbacks 

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A lucky photographer was left gobsmacked after witnessing a couple of playful whales breaching in sync with each other.

In the images, the playful pair of humpback whales can be seen chasing each other underwater, breaching individually and then almost unbelievably in synchronisation with each other off the coast of the Pacific island of Maui, Hawaii. 

The enchanting images were snapped by Maui local, Don McLeish.  

Don McLeish was shocked at how close this humback whale breached near his boat off the coast of Maui, getting close enough to splash the lense

In the images, the playful pair of humpback whales can be seen chasing each other underwater, breaching individually and then almost unbelievably in synchronisation with each other off the coast of the Pacific island of Maui, Hawaii

In the images, the playful pair of humpback whales can be seen chasing each other underwater, breaching individually and then almost unbelievably in synchronisation with each other off the coast of the Pacific island of Maui, Hawaii

The enchanting images were snapped by Maui local, Don McLeish, who was left gobsmacked after witnessing a couple of playful whales breaching in sync with each other

The enchanting images were snapped by Maui local, Don McLeish, who was left gobsmacked after witnessing a couple of playful whales breaching in sync with each other

The adult humpback whales emerged from the water in sync, leaving photographer Don McLeish captivated

The adult humpback whales emerged from the water in sync, leaving photographer Don McLeish captivated 

McLeish said he was called to the scene by a friend who had been whale watching and had noticed the mammals had started mugging. 

In marine biology, ‘Mugging’ is a term used to describe when whales choose to swim within close proximity of a boat.  

Don said of the experience: ‘I got word from a friend who has a whale watching business at the boat launch that they had a some adult humpbacks mugging them and had another boat come in close so they could leave to come in and pick up the next group.

The humpback whales can be seen chasing each other underwater. McLeish said he was called to the scene by a friend who had been whale watching and had noticed the mammals had started mugging

The humpback whales can be seen chasing each other underwater. McLeish said he was called to the scene by a friend who had been whale watching and had noticed the mammals had started mugging

The humpback whales breached individually before emerging in sync. In marine biology, 'Mugging' is a term used to describe when whales choose to swim within close proximity of a boat

The humpback whales breached individually before emerging in sync. In marine biology, ‘Mugging’ is a term used to describe when whales choose to swim within close proximity of a boat

Don said of the experience: 'I got word from a friend who has a whale watching business at the boat launch that they had a some adult humpbacks mugging them and had another boat come in close so they could leave to come in and pick up the next group'

Don said of the experience: ‘I got word from a friend who has a whale watching business at the boat launch that they had a some adult humpbacks mugging them and had another boat come in close so they could leave to come in and pick up the next group’

'Mugging is when some whales come to your boat and stick around checking you out while you check them out, it is the ultimate encounter,' McLeish said

‘Mugging is when some whales come to your boat and stick around checking you out while you check them out, it is the ultimate encounter,’ McLeish said 

‘Mugging is when some whales come to your boat and stick around checking you out while you check them out, it is the ultimate encounter.

‘With my friend, we headed out to the area and did see a couple boats close to each other and as we got closer we could see whales swimming around and under the boats.

‘Eventually the two whales both fluked and dove deep. The other boats left but we stayed in place hoping for an encounter when the whales returned to the surface.’

The adult humpback whales were pictured breaching individually at first. McLeish said he was called to the scene by a friend who had been whale watching and had noticed the mammals had started mugging

The adult humpback whales were pictured breaching individually at first. McLeish said he was called to the scene by a friend who had been whale watching and had noticed the mammals had started mugging

'With my friend, we headed out to the area and did see a couple boats close to each other and as we got closer we could see whales swimming around and under the boats,' the photographer said

‘With my friend, we headed out to the area and did see a couple boats close to each other and as we got closer we could see whales swimming around and under the boats,’ the photographer said 

'Eventually the two whales both fluked and dove deep. The other boats left but we stayed in place hoping for an encounter when the whales returned to the surface'

‘Eventually the two whales both fluked and dove deep. The other boats left but we stayed in place hoping for an encounter when the whales returned to the surface’

After putting on a show for Don, the whales seemed to be getting bored and were about to head off, but they then breached together, something Don had only seen a couple of times in his entire life

After putting on a show for Don, the whales seemed to be getting bored and were about to head off, but they then breached together, something Don had only seen a couple of times in his entire life

After putting on a show for Don, the whales seemed to be getting bored and were about to head off, but they then breached together, something Don had only seen a couple of times in his entire life.

Don, added: ‘They ended up coming out of the water a number of times and got into synchronisation so that we were treated to some very special double breaches as they circled us.’

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