He repeatedly approached our stationary boat and exhaled as he got close. We were soon covered in wet whale breath. In this image Pam is protecting the camera from a whale breath spray.
Agility and Athletic Skills
In the top image, he passes directly under the boat. In the centre image he dives under from behind and in the bottom image he lies upside down half under the boat. Humpbacks have great body awareness and although he came very close, at no time did he touch the boat.
The rod in the centre image allows us to deploy a hydrophone or under water microphone to record whale vocalisations.
It is difficult to move off in situations like this. We waited until he seemed to depart and carefully and slowly moved away. However he decided that he hadn't finished with us and caught us twice again, 1 and 2 nautical miles away respectively from the original encounter.
He managed to surprise us on both occasions by approaching underwater then surfacing with a loud exhalation.