Animals Video

By Jasmine Kazlauskas

A delighted wildlife photographer has captured the breathtaking moment two mammoth 40-tonne humpback whales leapt out of the water in an incredible display of ‘extremely rare’ double breaching.

Avid whale watcher John Goodridge, 54, was thrilled after witnessing the two ‘majestic’ 14 metre (45ft) long marine mammals ‘showing off’ less than 100 metres (328ft) from his cruise boat sailing out of Sydney Heads, New South Wales, Australia late last month. 

John Goodridge/GoWhaleWatching/Caters News

John said the ‘spectacular two-second-show’ of the adult humpback whales simultaneously leaping out of the ocean left him breathless and ‘full of adrenaline’ due to the extreme rarity of a double breach.

UK expat John, who moved from Yorkshire to Australia 24 years ago, said it was first time he had ever been lucky enough to shoot a double breach in his three years of photographing humpback whales.

He said: “I was stunned to see such an incredible sight. It was definitely a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moment.

“I’ve only ever seen two whales breaching together maybe two or three times in my life.

“But I’ve never been fortunate enough to capture it on film. The trick is to keep your finger on the camera just incase that other whale pops up.

“Many people might get the first whale, but not the second. That’s why I was so lucky.

John Goodridge/GoWhaleWatching/Caters News

“The whole thing was over in less than two seconds. Most people on the boat weren’t even facing that way.

“We hardly saw anything the whole trip, but they just came out to show off right at the end.

“It was a great way to end the day.

The cruise was operated by skipper Simon Millar on his small family business ‘Go Whale Watching’ that has operated out of Sydney’s Darling Harbour for more than 10 years.

Australia’s eastern coastline comes alive each year between April and November, as pods of humpback whales make the 10,000km (6214 miles) journey from Antarctica to Australia in order to mate and give birth.

John said: “I just adore whales and I’m so passionate about watching them and photographing them. This was really special.

“Something about it just left me breathless. 

“I was so excited to be a part of it, I felt the adrenaline running through me when I realised I’d captured it on my camera.

“It was the closest thing to a religious experience I’ve ever had.”