Nothing can actually prepare you for the event
when you end up inside the whale,
and then it’s pure instinct.
For almost 15 years now we conduct the sardine run,
and we’ve always been documenting and filming it,
it is a natural event
which is the biggest migration in the southern hemisphere
in terms of animals gathering along the coast.
The day itself was a beautiful sunny day.
It was flat seas, sea conditions were perfect.
So that day we launched off the Port Elizabeth Harbor,
and we traveled about 25 nautical miles from shore.
That was trying to get a shot of
a shark going through the bay port.
And it all happened very fast because it was the first day
and you kind of need to tune into the whole scenario.
The next moment it got dark,
and I felt some pressure on my hip.
And once I felt the pressure instantly knew
a whale had grabbed me.
I could not imagine in my head
how he was actually holding me or grabbing me,
but I could feel the pressure on my hip.
There is no time for fear
in a situation like that, you have to use your instinct.
Instantly I held my breath
because my thought was now he’s going to dive down
and release me at some point in time much deeper in the ocean.
A British whale has like easily 15 to 20 tons of weight,
so if you get bumped by a whale
with flipper or with the tail,
it can hurt you, can, maybe also break your hips.
We were all not aware how the situation will end.
And then the next moment I kind of felt that
the whale was turning either way,
and that the pressure was released,
and then I was washed out of the mouth,
and was kind of coming back up onto the surface,
where surely I wasn’t looking too clever.
Of course the first thought was is everyone alright?
We were really happy that everything turned out so well.
I guess for the whale it was also scaring,
because normally they know who’s around.
They realized that there are persons or dolphins around,
because they are very sensitive.
But as they come up with a mouth open,
they can’t really see what is just in front of them.
And I guess the whale thought it was a dolphin.
Once I got to the boat I just looked at Heinz and I said
Did you get it?
他说 当然了 他拍到了
And he said yes, he got it.
And then I knew this was a very special
event and a special moment.
It happened extremely fast,
and from being on the surface and observing something,
I became the inside man and suddenly was inside a whale,
kind of looking out,
it gives me a connection to the whale
which I don’t think anyone else had before.
In all the years never ever a situation occurred like that,
and I’m sure it was a surprise for the whale as well.
I really want to point out that whales are no man-eaters.
this was no attack, was not the fault of the whale,
they are really sensitive,
they are gentle giants,
and yes, it was just an accident.
这个回忆 将永远留在我的记忆里 直到永远
It’s a memory that will definitely never ever fade.
It was an interesting experience for me,
but surely nothing I want to do again.
I don’t think I had a whale of a time,
I now have the inside knowledge of a whale
which nobody else has.