THIS ISLAND LIFE Presents: Swimming with Gentle Giants

I love storytelling – whether it’s through words, film or photography, it’s my true passion and something that will always be a big part of my life and what I do. While writing and shooting stills is second nature to me, I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and in front of the camera as a presenter. I’ve starred in a few videos before both for Queensland Events and Tourism and Toni & Guy, but this shoot was the most challenging and exciting things I’ve ever done.

Not only was I on one of the most beautiful islands I’d ever visited, I was also about to go swimming with 40-tonne humpback whales. I had two days in the water with Scott from Swimming with Gentle Giants to get the footage we needed for this video. I do freedive training with my videographer back in Sydney, but nothing can prepare you for what it’s like to swim a meter away from a humpback the size of a small jet plane. With limited shooting time, I had to put my fears to the side and get up close with these magnificent (but scary at first) creatures.

I hope you enjoy my foray into presenting, but more importantly I hope this video gives you a sense of the incredible experience we had in Tonga with the humpback whales.

A HUGE thanks to my amazing photographer/videographer Michaela Skovranova (who also edited this film) for capturing this special footage and bringing it together so beautifully. To Scott Portelli from Swimming with Gentle Giants for inviting me on the trip and making me feel super safe and comfortable in the water. And to the talented singer/songwriter Elle Graham for the beautifully composed custom soundtrack that fits so perfectly with this piece.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our time in Tonga or want this to be you next season, read my article here.

This Island Life in Tonga