My huge Atlantic friends

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Out in the blue, North Atlantic Ocean, 2014

This is definitely paradise for me. To be far out at sea spending hours after hours in the deep blue pelagic water.

Here I have about 3-4 kilometers of water underneath me and the clear, infinite surrounding really gives me the feeling of flying! :-)




It´s not only the water that makes me love the Ocean so much though. The main reason for my strong passion for the sea is the life living in it.



In this blogpost I want to share my most recent whale encounters in the North Atlantic, with pics taken during our sailing this summer.

There are two main types of whale, which are toothed whales (Odontoceti) and baleen whales (Mysticeti). The toothed whales have teeth and feed mostly on fish, squid, and some of them (like the killer whale) even on bigger marine animals.

The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) (picture above and three pics beneath) is by far the largest of all toothed whales. It can reach a lenght of 18 meters and weigh up to 50 tons.




These massive toothed whales normally feed on giant squids and dive really deep to get their prey. Some evidence suggest that they may dive to depths of at least 3000 meters!

Wow, just imagine to be a part of that impressive dive and to observe the hunt of giant squids probably as big as the whale itself...




The sperm whale can get very curious and I have experienced really close encounters with them (see YouTube-clip further below).

This time they just came for a quick look though, before disappearing into their blue Atlantic surrounding...




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Below you find 5 min of footage from our film "Europas sista j├Ąttar" (Last Giants of Europe) and our really close encounter with a huge sperm whale pod.

This footage was taken in the Azores summer 2005 and with permission from the Azorean Government. An amazing encounter I will never forget!! Not possible to get closer than this...




Yes, I definitely do understand the ones that get the feeling of being "height afraid" when swimming in pelagic water. The Ocean really feels never ending underneath you...

I enjoy this wonderful feeling though, and this with a great curiosity of what or who that might be hiding in the big blue next to me ;-)




Wow!! No words can describe the feeling when a big whale is appearing just underneath me. No, she is not big, she is huge...

It is the second biggest animal ever lived on earth, it is a fin whale!




The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) belongs to the baleen whales (Mysticeti). Baleen whales include most of the larger whales, such as rorquals, right whales and the gray whale.

This type of whale has baleen plates instead of teeth and do normally feed on huge shoals of krill or smaller fish.


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Only the blue whale can get bigger then my new curious friend. The fin whale is known to grow to more than 26 meters and they can reach a weight of 80 tons. A newborn fin whale baby measures about 6–6.5 metres in length and weighs approximately 1800 kilos...

I´m truly stunned by my new company!! There are two fin whales in the area, one of them seems to be more curious than the other and she keeps coming to have a closer look on me... :-)

Yes, I´m feeling like being in heaven!! :-))







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For many years, whales were thought to be "spouting fish". However, they are mammals, and like all other mammals, whales breathe air, are warm-blooded  and nurse their young with milk.

Whales breathe via blowholes, located on the top of their heads.
Unlike most animals, the whales are conscious breathers even when they sleep. Baleen whales have two blowholes while toothed whales just have one.




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My new friends keep circulating around me. The curious one starts to roll in the water and I get the feeling that she might not only be curious. It almost looks like she is a bit happy about having me in the water... Can it be true?





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The fin whale keeps coming and coming, and it almost looks like she starts to dance... ;-)  Wow, what a beauty she is!

So many encounters I have experienced with plenty different whale species in both cold and warm waters, but still I will never ever stop being amazed of these majestic beings.






I was 11 years old, the very first time I saw whales close up.

This was in 1995, when I spent hours after hours in the cold water together with a friendly bottlenose dolphin in Southern Norway. The same year, I then got to experience the great gathering of Orcas in Northern Norway. From that time on, I feel a strong growing passion for these fascinating creatures...

Maybe the whale sense the deep love I feel for her?




When the fin whales seem to be gone I slowly start to swim back to the boat. As I´m quite far away it takes some time to snorkel my way back to the others. About half the distance, I hear them shouting on the boat and when I look around I see that the whale is approaching me again!

It seems like the whale wanted to say a last "Good Bye" to me before leaving. Like she appeared, she finally disappear into her infinite blue world. There I am left alone in the water totally speechless and overwhelmed about my last hours in paradise! :-)







Join the Adventure with WPX! :-)

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I´m very happy about becoming a team member of Waterproof Expeditions and am truly looking forward to my upcoming time as snorkel/dive guide on their extraordinary expeditions.

My first assignment "Winter Whales of Norway" starts in January 2015. This trip is interesting for anyone who would like to experience the great gathering of Orcas and Humpback whales in the beautiful fjords of Northern Norway! Are you interested to join??

Further information about Waterproof Expeditions and their trips you find at their website: www.waterproof-expeditions.com

Below you find 2 min footage from my earlier Orca encounters. Join to Northern Norway and you will definitely understand why I love those majestic animals so much!! :-)





"It's not the moments we breathe...
it's the moments that take our breath away"


"Waterproof Expeditions are experts in creating unique wildlife and photography, expedition cruises, polar and tropical experiences to the world’s more remote and exotic destinations. All trips are designed around the element of water: underwater, above and beyond. Ideal for explorers and divers alike.
 
Our life-enhancing travel experiences will exhilarate, educate and inspire."







Diving at the Swedish West Coast

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North-west coast of Sweden, 3/9-13/9-2014

Since our internet possibilities often are quite poor when being out in field there haven´t been too much activity on my blog lately...

Finally some fresh pics from our current time at the wonderful Swedish west coast! :-)



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First of all, I want to thank you for all great feedback we´ve got after the broadcasting of our film!

So much respons makes me really really happy!! :-)) Many thanks to all of you :-)


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Being out in the Swedish archipelago during the month of September is really pleasant. So far, we have had the most perfect weather imaginable and the water temperature keeps around 16-17°C.

It feels like the entire landscape is taking a worthy rest after an intense summer, and we have the beautiful islands all for our own most of the time. There are still some boats left at the coast, but they are getting less for each week passing by.

The west coast truly becomes a very silent and soothing place... Autumn truly is wonderful!





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We are visiting various places at the north-west coast. With our sailboat as base we can stay out in field for many weeks and choose the places we want to explore underwater.






In co-operation with the Swedish National Television, we are now working on a film project about Marine Protected Areas.

We´ve been documenting the different efforts made for protecting the underwater life in both the Mediterranean and the Azores, and now we continue our work in Swedish waters...



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Which efforts are actually made to protect the underwater life in our Scandinavian waters?




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Lately, we have been diving at a place which has been protected for over 20 years. Even before getting in the water, the coast guards come to check us. This makes me very happy as protected places really needs someone who is guarding area...



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So, what did we see underwater then?? 

Well, as the visibility truly was that bad that I even had difficulties to see my buddy swimming only a meter away, I didn´t think we would find too much... 

But ohh so wrong I had!! :-)






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Never ever in my life have I seen so many lobsters in one dive!!

Lobsters in different sizes and with all kind of characters... From the shy ones to the more defensive personalities... 

Most of them seem to be very curious though and keep coming closer and closer to check the strange "domeport-eye" in front of them... :-)






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Protection of underwater areas truly gives results! 

This place is just one example of the great impact protection of an area has to its inhabitants. We have been diving in many places, both protected ones and non-protected ones...  and yes, there is a huge difference!  

Currently, less than 1 percent of the world's oceans are closed to fishing... If we want to keep the Ocean alive we definitely need to protect much more of it.



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I get so fascinated about my new curious friends! They truly are great personalities and I wish I could spend much more time at the depth together with them. But as I´m a human I need to keep an eye on my dive computer and my air consumption...

Close to one hour dive and it´s getting time to head back to surface and our floating "dive center" again.




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If not equipped with drysuit and scuba gear, I happily spend plenty time with my wetsuit and freediving fins... When living on the water it´s really difficult not to spend the time in it!

With or without tank I truly love to spend my time in the water! Indeed, it really feels difficult to get out from the aquatic world even when getting a bit cold... Brrr, but so enjoyable! ;-)






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More dives are awaiting us ahead. Dives with the aim of document and to spread the interest of the so spectacular but vulnerable world hiding beneath the surface...