Virgin Oceanic's humpback whale swim
- By Jack Preston -
- Mar 14, 2012
Virgin Oceanic co-founders, Richard Branson and Chris Welsh, have completed an expedition to the Silver Banks coral reef region of the Dominican Republic where they were able to observe and swim with humpback whales.
Before joining the whales the pair completed their Poseidon rebreather training, the advanced breathing sets were crucial in providing a more relaxed atmosphere in which to interact with the whales.
“We were swimming with snorkels and Poseidon rebreathers. The rebreathers create no bubbles, so they create a unique ability to be close and not disturb the whales. Conversely, a simple snorkel is quick into the water and fast swimming, but with the limitation of staying at or close to the surface,” explained Welsh.
“Each interaction was different, and a steep learning curve. The fin and tail slaps put veils of bubbles into the water; more than once I swam through the bubbles and was shocked to find myself several feet from a whale! Despite their size, their colors camouflage them pretty well, except for the bright white pectoral fins.”
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