By Josh Saunders
A lucky diver has captured FIN-CREDIBLE close-up footage showing a curious ‘train-like’ fin whale only three metres away.
Videographer Stefano Ulivi, and a team of ocean fanatics spent an hour following the impressive 15-metre long and 11,000 stone (155,000lb) magnificent mammal trying to capture a once in a life moment with her.
The fin whale was filmed up close and personal, off the coast of Azores Island, Portugal, after she decided to investigate the boat pursuing her.
Fortunately Stefano, originally from Florence, Italy, put his videocamera on a pole into the water at just the right moment to record the majestic nature of the underwater giant pass them.
He compared the experience to like ‘watch a train pass right in front of you’ due to the female’s size and the speed at which she was able to travel.
Delighted by the footage he shot in April this year, Stefano admits he fell in love with whales five-years-ago following an overwhelmingly emotional encounter watching one leap out of the water for the first time.
He said: “During the footage, she was so close and fast and it was like watch a train passing in front of you.
“I think she was curious, after one hour of us following her and wanted to check out what we were, we are very lucky to have experienced that.
“The whale was like a train, for her dimensions and the speed she travelled at.
“We were following that whale already for an hour but the action shot in the footage took around 2 minutes
“I was really surprised because when you are using the pole camera you don’t know if you capture the shot or not, how good the visibility is or whether you were shaking too much.
“When I saw the video I was really surprised, the movement of the whale is perfect.
“I feel a lot of respect when I’m watching a whale, it’s thanks to them that I changed my life.
“When I saw my first whale jump out of the water five years ago, I decide that I should feel that sensation for the rest of my life.
“For the first time in my life my body was shaking, they are so powerful and peaceful at the same time and even after five years I never find myself dissatisfied or bored.”
Stefano believes mandatory rules guarding whales from being overly intruded into helps to nurture the sea creatures naturally in their habitat.
He said: “In the Azores Island, we were doing whale watching following lots of rules and laws.
“For example, the number of the boats around one whale, no people are allowed in the water during mating season.
“Every boat has to respect the right distance from the animal, of at least 50 meters and others, but thanks to these rules the number of whales have grown exponentially in the last five years.
“These are good rules that are good for nature.”