Blue Whale in the Blue

I've been home for a few days now (after three months solid on the road), and have just managed to get started with a bit of photo editing.

A little while ago, I finished cleaning up this photo of a blue whale, which I took last month:

Pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) in the Indian Ocean, south of Sri Lanka
Pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda)
commencing its descent to forage for krill

Yes, the whale is in clear blue water, and yup, we are right next to each other, looking one another in the eye. Nice, eh?

In case you're wondering, the characters 藍鯨 mean "blue whale" in Chinese. More specifically, they are the characters used in Taiwan. In mainland China, the characters are 蓝鲸, a slight difference.

I elected to use the Taiwanese characters because that's where I'm originally from (to the extent that I have an "originally from" place).

Anyway, I labelled the photo with the Chinese characters in honour of my friends who were accompanying me at the time of this encounter, as they are from China and Taiwan.

Even though all of us are Chinese, we have a variety of backgrounds, so we communicated through a mix of English, Mandarin, Japanese and even some Taiwanese, a language I haven't really used in over 25 years.

That served to keep us on our toes and ensure that everyone (eventually) understood everything, except, of course, for the guys driving the boat and taking great care of us, who seemed to laugh a lot with us (or was it at us?).

So I'm going to be at home for the next few weeks, which will be a nice change of pace. Besides catching up on work and getting back in shape for the second half of the year, at the top of my to-do list is to write about some of the amazing stuff I've seen and photographed in recent months.

I've been so busy that I haven't had the time or energy to write as much as I'd like, so I'm going to make up for a little bit of that in the coming weeks, starting with some mind-boggling, absolutely insane(!!!) images and stories from Palau.

I don't want to jump the gun, but if you've ever wondered what it's like to be in midst of thousands of spawning fish, big ones at that...stay tuned.

Oh...and of course...there will be more whale photos coming too.