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Deborah Hewitt
Deborah Hewitt • 2 years ago

White whale_17 by Viktor Lyagushkin ~ Two-time world champion free diver Natalia Avseenko swims with the white whales in the White Sea. The water temperature minus 1.5 Polar circle, Russia

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Two-time world champion free diver Natalia Avseenko swims with the white whales in the White Sea. Water temperature minus 1.5 Polar circle, Russia. Ph: Viktor Lyagushkin

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Free diving with whales

humpback whale.

The Whale… If you read a recent front page story of the San Francisco Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth. A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farallon Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.